For Nigeria to out-grow its current socio-political and economic predicaments and join the league of progressive countries of the world, it must shun all forms of divisive tendencies and fully embrace peace, equity and justice.
The above forms the kernel of the 59th Independence Day message to Nigerians by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese Lagos, Most Rev Dr Alfred Adewale Martins.
In a release made available to newsmen and signed by the Acting Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr Anthony Godonu, Archbishop Martins, while congratulating Nigerians on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th independence celebration, said there is need for all to continue to be grateful to God for His benevolence in holding the country together in spite of the many and various challenges that are capable of bringing any nation down but which she has scaled over in these years.
He, however, reminded Nigerians, most especially the leadership, that the present state of affairs in the country, despite its 59 years of independence, is a far-cry from the progressive, robust, united and peaceful entity envisaged by the founding fathers, hence the need for all to join hands together in order to build a strong and united country that we can all be proud of. “I wish to use this opportunity to wish all Nigerians a happy 59th independence anniversary celebration. We thank the Almighty God for holding us together despite all our challenges.
However, we cannot pretend that all is well with us. On the contrary, so much is wrong. It is an irony that in spite of her huge natural resources Nigeria is being touted as the poverty capital of the world. It is sad that in spite of her enormous human resources, millions of our people are jobless.
It is sad that despite the huge revenue that comes into government coffers through several sources including taxation, Nigerians still lack access to good roads, potable water and good health care.”
A lot still needs to be done to bring relief to millions of impoverished citizens who have been bearing the brunt of bad leadership and suffering from injustice, corruption and nepotism that have been the bane of our country over the years. He said further, “the insecurity of life that confront Nigerians in all parts of the country is a major source of concern and we call on all Security Agencies to brace up and also on government to provide for them the wherewithal to protect the citizens.
On the other hand, a situation in which bad elements within the Police Force, in particular, turn their guns on innocent civilians and kill them with impunity cannot be tolerated and Police leadership must not fail to deal with such miscreants as a deterrence.”
While advocating restructuring as a sure means to achieve economic prosperity for all citizens, he called on the leadership to help foster unity amongst all Nigerians, irrespective of their religion or ethnic backgrounds; by creating a conducive atmosphere for peace, equity, justice and the rule of law.
Finally, he called on all Nigerians to continue to pray for the restoration of the glory of Nigeria, and be loyal with a feeling of responsibility for the growth of the country.