Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja 

The Federal Government has declared Monday October 3, 2022, as public holiday to mark the nation’s 62nd Independence Anniversary Celebration.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, the minister congratulated all Nigerians on this year’s celebration and assured of government’s commitment to tackling all the challenges facing the nation and bring smiles to the faces of all the people.

“The world is going through dire economic and security challenges which have also affected our nation. However, I am assuring us all that the government will not abandon the people, but will continue to confront all these challenges with all the might at our disposal until respite comes our way”, the Minister said.

Aregbesola reiterated the eminent position of Nigeria in the comity of nations and the greatness ahead of the country if Nigerians work hard at it as a people.

“Our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as our unbounded human capital and the richness of our land, make Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world and Africa’s pride and beacon of hope. If we can rally ourselves together to harness our potentials, we shall be the greatest nation on the earth.

“A country of over 200 million people whose natural talents, grit and passion glitter like the precious diamond that we are; Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in the academia, science and technology, business, innovation, music, entertainment, fashion or culture” Aregbesola said.

The Minister admonished Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration to reflect on the challenges facing the nation and the role individuals can play in addressing them.

He urged Nigerians to work hard, shun any attraction to get rich through criminal and other immoral means, saying only through productivity can an individual and the nation create wealth and get rich.

While wishing Nigerians a memorable independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that the nation’s founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue, still came together for Nigeria’s independence.

“Though our nation is going through challenges, especially on security, these challenges are temporary and do not define us. We are defined by the greatness of the Nigerian people in our diversity, strength, ingenuity and resilience.

“We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the most high for the stormy waters we have waded through and the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today”, he stated.

He therefore, called on all Nigerians to join hands together with the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in its quest to ensure a better Nigeria for all citizens, both at home and abroad as this, he said, shall be a befitting tribute to our heroes past.

The Minister urged Nigerians to shun violence of any kind and be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS.

“When you see something do N-Alert for prompt response from security agents”, he charged.

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