The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has urged Nigerians not to be despair over the state of affairs in Nigeria as the country marks 60th independence anniversary, saying that a greater Nigeria is possible in the foreseeable future.
Gov Abiodun who gave the encouragement on Sunday, at the Special Church Service to mark the 60th National Day Celebration, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, said that no matter the prevailing circumstances, the country has proven to be an enigma, defying all predictions by pundits that it would not survive.
“Nigeria has always wriggled out of the most difficult situation better. I have no doubt that Nigerians should be hopeful and we all must be ready to contribute to that future which we desire. Be hopeful. As a nation we are moving towards a better Nigeria,” he said.
He noted that the task ahead “is a collective one. We shouldn’t allow the prophesies of doom to define us. With prayers and given the human and material resources available, believe that things would get better.”
Governor Abiodun recalled that many countries that gained independence with Nigeria are no longer together. “They have either been balkanized by their internal realities or civil war. We have survived many vicissitudes and our despite her numerous challenges, especially in the area of economy and security, the country is still together and would move forward more prosperously”, he said.
“Despite all predictions, Nigeria is still standing. Our diversity is our strength. We are a resilient and confident people. We surmounted the Civil war, Boko Haram. Tomorrow will bring the best in us. All we need to do is to work together. Nigeria will move forward. We must not prophesy doom. Nation building is not for government alone, but the responsibility of all.
“We were able to manage COVID-19 very well. We defeated Ebola which was deadlier. About seven million people died in the United States and thousands are affected on a daily basis; but we thank God that is not the case here. There are a lot to be done in the area of economy and security and I believe with everyone on board, we shall overcome”, he said.
According to him, the nation has produced men and women of substance who have distinguished themselves in all spheres of life, adding that a lot needed to be done towards economic sustainability and nation building.
Abiodun who also affirmed his conviction that the country would continue to grow stronger as the democracy it currently enjoys continues to fledge, added that with the collective prayers of every Nigerian, all problems being faced by the country would be overcome.
While rolling out some programmes of his administration, the Goverrnor disclosed that the State government in conjunction with the Federal government would embark on the construction of 10,000 low cost housing units across the State.
He said the houses which would be built under the Social Housing Project in the next three years, would provide accessible and affordable houses to Nigerians at the cost of N2m.
He noted though the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the economy of the country, his administration was addressing the issues of power and infrastructure by ensuring that interrupted power was made available for small and medium business concerns, as well as inter connecting roads to neighbouring states.
On housing, the Governor said his administration has constructed affordable housing in Abeokuta and currently constructing similar units in Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ilaro and Ifo, while efforts are on to revitalize the educational and health sectors of the State.
While urging the people not to lose hope, Governor’s Abiodun enjoined them to continue to pray and remain united as the future of the country was looking good.
In his sermon, the Retired Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Peter Akinola, decried the State of bloodletting in the country, saying that for the nation to experience development, efforts must be made to stop bloodletting, while the people must repent of their sins.
The retired Primate who took his sermon from the book of Ezekiel 22 vs 3-6, traced the era of spilling of blood in Nigeria to the time of independence, opining that no land full of blood could move forward.
He called for repentance and tendering of apology to the families of those who lost their love ones as a result of killings