By EMMANUEL MOGBEDE /EMMANUEL OLONIRUHA
ABUJA- Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), says the hands of God are never too short to deliver Nigeria from whatever challenges it may be going through.
He made the assertion at the 2022 Democracy Day interdenominational church service, held at the Abuja Christian Centre on Sunday, where he represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“We assure ourselves that the hands of God are never too short to deliver, and that his grace would always prevail for our good.
“Equally important is that we also assure ourselves that no matter how challenging the situation or moment might be, there is always enough God-given strength within us as a people to surmount them.
“Nigerians have always risen to the occasion; when it mattered most, we rose to the occasion when colonial powers subjugated our people and lorded over our resources.
“We rose to the occasion, following the ravages of a civil war to rebuild a united country, no matter how imperfect, we rose to the occasion,” he said.
The SGF added that the country also rose when military dictatorships pushed us to the age of extinction and negotiated our way into a democratic government.
This, he said, provided a platform for us to build a country we could all be proud of, adding that we had come this far because of the collaboration of all.
He extended President Muhammadu Buhari”s gratitude to the body of Christ for its stabilising role in the growth of the county’s democracy.
“I believe an interdenominational gathering of this sort is an important way to mark this special anniversary of our nation’s democracy.
“Largely because the values of justice, equality, fairness and inclusion, which underpin democratic governance are also at the heart of our Christian faith.
“A day like this set aside to commemorate Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democratic governance gives us an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a people. It invites sobriety and gratitude,” he said.
Mustapha said that the day allowed Nigerians to remember the decades characterised by lack of freedom, suspicion, and uncertainty and calls to mind the prayers, faith as well as the courageous actions.
He urged people to therefore see the day as a day for gratitude and hope, and a day to remind ourselves that what was once thought impossible of Nigeria had been made possible.
The SGF expressed optimism that with unity, all hands being on deck, there would be light at the end of the tunnel, in spite of the country’s challenges.
“It is possible for joy to overcome sorrow, it is possible for peace to prevail, it is possible for us to be re-united, irrespective of our cultural, linguistic, religious or even ideological differences.
“Jesus said to the crowd in Luke, Chapter 12, verse 54, when you see a cloud rising in the West, immediately you will say it’s going to rain.
“And it does and of course we have seen the rain coming over Nigeria, reign of peace and prosperity, one which like the goodness of God touches everyone, no matter who or where they are.
“Today, let us be rest assured in the promise and possibilities of Nigeria, we have the talent and the resources to be a beacon of hope and standard bearer for the rest of Africa and the block grace,” he said.
Mustapha said that as a country, we had been progressively moving, proving that we had what it took to run an open, honest and transparent government that guarantees the rule of law.
He added that the Federal Government had showed that it could lift 100 million people out of poverty and guarantee equal access to education and opportunities for our women.
He said the government had also brought into fruition the most comprehensive social welfare programme for the poor and vulnerable in our society.
“We know the challenges, we live with them, but we also know and we have seen in the worlds of hold apostle that in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
“And of course, our nation will continue its long but steady march toward the fulfillment of his goal.
“I believe you are as persuaded as I am, because we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” he said.
Mustapha assured that the government was working towards the emergence of a stronger, united, peaceful and economically prosperous Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that from 1999, Nigeria had consistently celebrated Democracy Day.
The day is used to mark the end of military rule, and the return of power and control to the hands of those freely elected by the people to represent them in government.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Buhari-led federal government in 2018, moved Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12, the day the election that launched Nigeria into democracy took place.
The June 12, 1993, general election was acclaimed the freest election in the country’s political history, though the presumed winner, Chief Moshood Abiola, and Nigerians were denied their rights and choice of leadership.
This was because the election was consequently annulled on June 24, same year, by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida military administration.
The service was attended by members of the diplomatic communities and heads of government agencies, among others. (NAN)