The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has urged Nigerians to unite for the progress of the country and continue to keep faith with their fatherland.
Lawan, in a message by Mr Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser on Media, in Abuja on Thursday, felicitated with all Nigerians on the occasion of the 61st Independence Anniversary.
“This is the first year of our seventh decade as a nation and also the second year of the third decade of the Fourth Republic.
“I find it remarkable that we are living in the longest era of democracy in our history as a nation.
“That may seem modest as an achievement but it is an additional cause for celebration in the light of our political experience,” he said
According to him, every patriot will always remember with pride that historic moment on Oct. 1, 1960 when the British Union Jack was lowered and our Green-White-Green flag hoisted in its place.
“Over six decades on, the journey has been eventful and the challenges enormous. But we can be proud of the progress that we have made.
“We have drawn lessons from the missteps and rededicate ourselves to our historic mission of nation building. We should never abandon that mission,” he said.
He said that the founding fathers encountered difficulties from the diversity of our people and country. But they realised that the feature was not unique to us and so they wisely embraced it as a potential source of strength.
“We must keep the torch of that dream of our founding fathers burning and hand it over to the next generation of Nigerians.
“The founding fathers got nothing on a silver platter. Their dream of a glorious future for Nigeria inspired them in confronting the challenges of their time.
“That great heritage is what we are celebrating today. We must preserve and pass it to the coming generations,” he said.
According to him, our own challenges today are numerous but they are not insurmountable.
“If we face them like our founding fathers faced those of their time, the coming generations will also accord our memories their gratitude.
“Our political, religious and traditional leaders as well as influencers of opinions across the country need therefore to unite their purpose and energy for the good of our dear nation.
“As issues arise, let us use the right channels to address them in the true spirit of democracy. Nigeria belongs to all its citizens, not to some more than the others,” Lawn said.
Lawan encouraged all Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing process of constitutional review at the National Assembly.
He said the National Assembly was determined to facilitate a meaningful review of the Constitution by the people.
This, he noted was to ensure that the instrument continues to serve its purpose and to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“A people-oriented Constitution will address the frictions that we are currently witnessing and this is why the National Assembly is taking very seriously this national assignment.
“We already have a consensus on democracy as the best form of government for us as a people. So, we should all get actively involved in its processes.
“The National Assembly will always provide the necessary legislative interventions to strengthen the processes and encourage popular participation.
“Let us keep faith with Nigeria and continue as one people to work for our collective security and prosperity. May God continue to bless Nigeria,” Lawan said.