The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha have expressed their optimism that Nigeria will remain a united and prosperous nation.
The duo spoke separately with State House Correspondents after the Special Change of Guards and Silent Drill in commemoration of Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Mohammed said that his message to Nigerians was to keep hope alive, calling on the opposition to join hands with the Federal Government to move the nation forward.
“Fifteen years of independence in a country as diverse as Nigeria is not easy but the good thing is that everybody is glad to be part of one united and prosperous Nigeria.
“This administration will continue to work to ensure there is unity, security and that there is prosperity for all Nigerians and for everybody.
“The political class has its role to play. My advice to the political class is that we should not overheat the polity. Elections are over. We should all join hands to build the nation.
“The beauty of democracy is that every four years, you have the opportunity to decide who is going to be your leader.
“But once elections are over, everybody should join hands together to build the country because I believe that even those in opposition mean well for Nigeria.
“Therefore, they should join hands with the government to build a united and prosperous Nigeria,’’ he said
On his part, Mustapha said that there were lots of reasons for Nigerians to celebrate as a country and as a people.
He said that going by Nigeria’s chequered history, where it was coming from and where it was at present, some milestones had been achieved in terms of development.
“When we do comparisons with countries which have sustained democracy for over 200 years ago, ours is just 59 years and we have major conflicts even within those 59 years.
“To still be one solid indivisible country today is a thing that we should as Nigerians, rejoice over.
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“So, I think we have every cause to celebrate; that God has truly been faithful to us as a nation and as a people.
“Yes, we acknowledge challenges but going forward, we must be very positive in our attitude and like the president said this morning, the change must begin with each and every one of us in our various spheres of influence and endeavours.
“We must begin to change our attitude, our ways of doing things and then we will begin to see God work in our nation to cause a change,’’
Mustapha said that concerted efforts were required to foster sustainable security in the country, adding that community policing would go a long way in addressing the nation’s security challenges.
The highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake by President Muhammadu Buhari, accompanied by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila among other dignitaries.