Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians not to lose hope despite the challenges bedevilling the nation.
The former President in a statement on Wednesday, on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th anniversary, noted that the country’s journey has been that of mixed fortunes, adding that it required the commitment of all citizens to build a strong and prosperous nation.
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“Like many other great nations, our journey has been that of mixed fortunes. Our nation has been through periods of progress and times of 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.
“I therefore urge us 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,” Jonathan said.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in a statement also said Nigeria’s future depends on stakeholders’ commitment to a common destiny.
“We may have missed countless opportunities to reset our mindset moving forward as prosperous people, but this 60th anniversary of the life of our nation offers introspection.
“For Nigeria to work for the millions of its people, and to be reckoned with as a global competitive force in the nearest future, we must come up with a development plan that will have our youth at the centre of the plan.
“The times of idle, lame promises are over! We urgently need to build a new Nigeria where every dream would be embraced and the potentialities of our youth could be unleashed without the usual fears that have dragged us.
“I also call on those who have taken up arms against Nigeria to have a rethink. Whatever differences they may have with the rest of Nigeria, whether religious, ethnic or political: terror, violence and separatism are not the way.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan also urged Nigerians to keep hope alive.