…says journey to nationhood laced with mixed fortunes
Immediate past President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has described the nation’s journey to nationhood as mixed fortunes. He, however, said Nigerians should not give up, no matter the challenges. Jonathan, in a statement to mark Nigeria’s 60th independent, called for the commitment of all citizens to build a strong and prosperous nation. He noted that the country had been through periods of progress and setbacks.
“We have experienced eras of strength, unity and faith as well as seasons of weakness, trials and despair. Despite these challenges, we have remained as one, and nurtured our democracy to 21 unbroken years,” the former president stated. He noted that Nigeria might not have met all the expectations and fulfilled all the promises that came with independence, but said the rate of development and economic growth fell below expectations.
The former president observed that Nigeria, like the rest of the world, is going through a major health crisis that has continued to threaten the stability of states and their institutions as well as the lives and livelihoods of citizens.
“We should not live in despair of opportunities lost or dreams deferred. “Let us seize the opportunities that this pandemic presents to recreate and build a stronger nation. “Our success as a nation lies in the fervency of our faith, the strength of our unity and commitment to our national creed: unity and faith, peace and progress. “Let us work in solidarity to ensure that this national creed does not become a mere slogan, but a live experience for all,” Jonathan advised.
The former president said nation building is a journey and everyone has a role to play, and called for the commitment of all Nigerians to stabilize this nation. Jonathan expressed his belief in democracy as best platform for nation building, and urged leaders to make investments that will shore up the democratic gains and work towards building strong and virile institutions.
“We need to harness the greatness that lies within our diversity and the strength of our population, to recreate and build the Nigeria we desire. We must de-emphasize our fault lines and concentrate on the silver lining within our lands,” he added. He paid glowing tribute to founding fathers and those who paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria’s independence.