Some lawmakers in Lagos and Nasarawa states, and CLO have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the security challenges facing the country, as the nation marks its 61st Independence anniversary.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, the Lagos lawmakers also called on the President to address poverty, unemployment and separatist agitations.
While the Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, called on Nigerians to pray and support the President and other leaders to succeed in creating more democratic dividends.
NAN reports that Nigeria attained Independence from Britain on Oct. 1, 1960, and will celebrate its 61st anniversary on Friday.
Mr Setonji David, Chairman, Committee on Information and Strategies, Lagos State House of Assembly, asked the President to tackle poverty, unemployment, inflation and separatists agitations.
David said although the country’s unity is non-negotiable, there was the need to end the insecurity ravaging the nation.
“Since the country got independence in 1960, it has been having issues such as civil war, economic challenges, separatism, among others.
“The issue of economic development has been a problem, we have been depending on oil and attention has not been given to industrialisation,’’ he said.
He appealed to Nigerians to be law abiding, eschew violence and hope for a better tomorrow.
Mr Sanni Okanlawon, Chairman, Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, also urged Nigerians to unite in the efforts to end insecurity in the country.
According to him, with the little contribution of everyone, this country will rise and be great again.
Mr Victor Akande, Chairman, Committee on Judiciary, urged Nigerians to thank God for the opportunity to celebrate the nation’s 61st anniversary.
“We all have responsibilities to work towards the greatness of this country.’’
Akande blamed the elites for some of the country’s problems, adding “we need a head that can galvanise Nigeria, harness its resources to let its glory shine.
On his part, the Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Balarabe-Abdullahi, said that the 61st Independence was worth celebrating in spite of the challenges.
He appealed to Nigerians to live in peace, be law abiding, respect constituted authorities and be their brother’s and sister’s keepers.
Balarabe-Abdullahi also urged Nigerians to tolerate one another irrespective of cultural, religious, political and tribal differences.
The speaker said that in terms of development, the country had recorded a lot of achievements.
“In its chequered history, the country frequently experienced change of government between military and military, and between the military and civilians in what seemed like power ping-pong.
“However, we have moved to a full-fledged democracy with our democratic experience becoming stable and uninterrupted for more than two decades.
`As the saying goes, the worst form of democracy is still better than the best form of military government,’’ the speaker said.
Meanwhile, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has asked the political class and office holders to restore the nation to the ideals of its founding fathers.
CLO Chairman in Anambra, Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, who spoke on [email protected], said that in spite of abundant human and natural resources bestowed on Nigeria, majority of its citizenry still live in abject poverty.
“The current situation calls for the political class and public officials to restore and reform the nation to a positive socioeconomic, political, justice and patriotism stance in tandem with the ideals of our founding fathers.
“It is no longer news that we are not where we are supposed to be.
“There is need for those in authority to do the needful, think and act for the common good and interest of the citizenry above their personal interests.
“The best and greatest independent gift Nigerians expect from government at all levels includes but not limited to the eradication of poverty, inequality, unemployment, injustices, banditry, terrorism and all forms of insecurity in the land.
“It is only social justices that precipitate peaceful coexistence, unity, progress and prosperity.
“It will be a step in the right direction for governments to eradicate the vicious cycle of poverty through the introduction of free, qualitative and compulsory education, skill acquisitions and empowerment of youths.
“Let us show love to one another and restore the country to the part of honour, harmony and glory,’’ Ekwueme said. (NAN)