Former President Ibrahim Babangida on Sunday called on Nigerians to renew their commitment to the nation’s collective prosperity, growth and development.
He said in a statement on Sunday in Minna that such contribution would ensure rapid socio-economic and political development of the country.
“We have entered another English calendar year with the renewed hope of achieving more than we have
achieved in the past years.
“I therefore use the auspicious occasion to congratulate all Nigerians for making it to the New Year.
” I have the hope that the nation, we so sacrificed to keep going and to this age, can only be better notwithstanding various security and economic challenges that have become a world order.
“As Nigerians, our unique strengths and characters to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt.
” We must at this point, imbibe
the core values of democracy by respecting each other’s rights and pursue individual goals in tandem with our national objectives for a better Nigeria, not better individuals that will not reflect on us all.
“A season like new year often
offers us a new inspiration to give each other support; we should at this point truly believe that we are great in our diversity, in it lies our strength and uniqueness.
”Rather than allowing our diversity to divide us, we should gain courage by looking at the opportunities offered by our diversity and the good aspects of it that makes us special people as Nigerians.
“Believe me when I say from my experience as a military officer, who fought to keep Nigeria one, that we have had difficult times to be where we are today and we will not wish our children, grand children and great grand children to witness war again.
”This does not, however, mean that we will not be confronted with challenges; challenges are part of life, but if we are to be prepared for them, we must first shed our fear of them.
“I say to you compatriots today and truthfully, that I am unafraid to be optimistic that the future of Nigeria is bright. We are without doubt people with a great past but not without challenges and for the future we will be greater yet.”
Babangida urged Nigerians to take the inspiration offered by the New Year to build Nigeria of our dream, devoid of divisive tendencies and offer government at all levels support.
“As we enter the new year, we must learn to understand and forgive our honest mistakes, because there is no person who has not made mistakes and has the guarantee not to make any in his or her life”.(NAN)