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Lamentations as Nigeria marks 49th Independence anniversary

By Victor Ahiuma-Young, Olasunkanmi Akoni & Henry Umoru
ABUJA — THE anger and frustration of Nigerians was brought to the fore during yesterday’s 49th Independence celebration at the Eagle square, Abuja, when two youths publicly poured their venom on the leaders of the country asking them to return to the path of truth and sincerity.

While the crowd was awaiting the arrival of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Adamu Aliero and other top government officials, two men who said they were from Plateau State, took to the podium with the holy Bible in their hands and rained curses on Nigerian leaders.

Some youths celebrating this year's Independence Day on a motorcycle in the streets of Warri, Delta State, yesterday.
Some youths celebrating this year's Independence Day on a motorcycle in the streets of Warri, Delta State, yesterday.

“Our leaders must retract their steps and rule this country according to the will of God. All will not be well with them if the people continue to wallow in abject poverty while a few live in riches,” they cursed.

One of the men who gave his name as Mr. John Gideon said what they have done was a clear indication for people at the helms of power to understand that the masses were not happy with the poor state of the economy and the stagnation of the entire country.

The two men after reading some portions from the Bible left the holy book on the podium before they were rushed out of the venue by security men in an open van to an unknown destination.

School children marching at the 49th National Independence day of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was held at Police College Ikeja yesterday. By Joseph Akintola, Photo Editor.
School children marching at the 49th National Independence day of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was held at Police College Ikeja yesterday. By Joseph Akintola, Photo Editor.

Some Nigerians who watched while the men read out the incantation at the venue said it was high time people in authority realized that the masses may one day have no option but to support total revolution.

New housing guidelines for Abuja

Meanwhile the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Aliero disclosed yesterday that arrangements have been concluded for the approval of new guidelines for mass housing programmes in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Speaking at the Eagle Square, Abuja venue of activities marking the nation’s 49th Independence anniversary celebrations, he said when approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the guidelines would improve mass housing facilities as well as address housing deficit in the nation’s capital city.

Labour, others lament

School children in Ondo State during the ceremony in the Akure Sports stadium yesterday
School children in Ondo State during the ceremony in the Akure Sports stadium yesterday

Meanwhile, labour leaders, rights activists and employers during activities to mark the Independence day in Lagos declared that the promises of the nation’s founding fathers at independence, 49 years ago, were eluding Nigerians by the day and declared that they may have to challenge the nation’s political leaders to account for their deeds while in office.

At an independence symposium organised by the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), speakers and participants alike were unanimous that frightening poverty, endemic corruption, electoral malpractices, insecurity, alarming unemployment, failing education standard, decayed infrastructures, among others had bedeviled the nation in the past 49 years.

Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko inspecting the Parade during the ceremony to mark the 49th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria celebration at the Akure Sports stadium yesterday
Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko inspecting the Parade during the ceremony to mark the 49th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria celebration at the Akure Sports stadium yesterday

Among the speakers were, President of NUTGTWN, Comrade Reginald Ogulanna, General Chairman of Lagos Council of NLC, Comrade Michael Alogba, Secretary of Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations, Comrade Sylvester Ejiofoh, Director-General of Textile Employers Association, Mr John Olarewaju, Human Resource Director of 7UP Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Femi Mokikan, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, Comrade Segun Sango and Comrade Abiodun Aremu.

Speaking, General Secretary of NUTGTWN and a Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, lamented there was little or nothing for Nigerians to be proud of.

Nigerians need rededication — Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State in his message called on Nigerians on the need for rededication towards achieving the rebirth of hope for Nigeria.

According to Fashola, who spoke through his Deputy, Mrs Adebisi Sosan: “The occasion offers us all an opportunity once more to reflect on our evolution as a nation with goals and aspirations within a rapidly evolving world economic order.

It offers us an opportunity to reflect on where we set out to be as a nation on October 1, 1960 when we attained Independence, here we are now and where we ought to be and should be.

In doing this, a review of the vision of the founding fathers of this country like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto to name but a few, still provide for us an effective takeoff point.


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