By G9ija

The United States of America and India have congratulated Nigeria on her 60th anniversary Independence.

The US Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, in a statement issued yesterday, said Nigeria is an important leader in West Africa and across the entire continent.

He stated: “The United States will continue to support the Nigerian people as you seek to collaborate with your neighbors to expand regional peace and security and counter violent extremists.

“Our countries share important democratic values and a similar entrepreneurial spirit, and we congratulate the Nigerian people for your commitment to tackling corruption, strengthening democratic institutions, and leveraging Nigerian entrepreneurship to promote economic recovery. Even now, the people-to-people partnerships between our two nations are helping Nigeria combat the threat posed by COVID-19. “

Pompeo said US looks forward to continuing working with a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria and to making progress in support of our shared values in the coming year.

On her part, Indian felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari and the government and people of Nigeria on the occasion of the country’s 60th Independence anniversary.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind, sent a congratulatory message to Buhari through a letter delivered by the High Commission of India in Nigeria.

According to Adesina, Kovind on behalf of himself and the government and people of India, noted that “India and Nigeria have always enjoyed close and friendly relations,” adding that the “engagement is age old, deep-rooted and multidimensional.”

He quoted the Indian President further: “India and Nigeria seek healthy growth and prosperity for both nations and share common concerns, priorities and approach on major international issues.

“India is taking over as member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-2022. During this period, India would like to work towards a New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System – NORMS.”

Makinde: Let’s Remain Focused, Create Happier Moments in Future

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, yesterday, declared that Nigerians should use the occasion of the nation’s 60th independence anniversary to focus on moments of its happiness rather than looking behind and living in regrets.

Makinde, who stated this in his state broadcast in commemoration of the country’s diamond jubilee, said that the country has got some things right in the last 60 years, noting that the current democratic experience is one of the positives that must be maintained and nurtured to maturity.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, shortly after the state broadcast, also led other Oyo State Government functionaries on a walk, which started from the Arcade of the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

According to the governor, though a lot of people would choose not to see anything good in Nigeria and would want to spend the rest of the day reminding Nigerians of all the times the country has failed the test of nationhood, it is not all a tale of woes, as the country has got some things right.

Governor Makinde called on all Nigerians to continue to give democracy a chance, stating that residents of Oyo State are now enjoying true democracy following their decision to vote for the people’s government.

Obiano: Nigeria Has Shown More Resilience Than the World Imagined

Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has said that Nigeria has shown more resilience than the world imagined.

Obiano stated this in his Independence day address, saying that the country has survived a brutal civil war, and also survived years of military regimes and all manner of shocks.

He said: “Fellow citizens, we shall not sing with our loudest voices when the world is silent. We cannot roll out the drums for celebration when the world is in deep grief. For Covid-19 has restricted our laughter; but it has not killed our joy.

“Covid-19 has shaken us with unimaginable fear; but it has not broken our spirit. So, fellow citizens, though we are not loud in our celebration today, our happiness is the size of the moon. We are thankful to God for guiding us in safety and peace in all that we have been through. And we join our fellow compatriots all over the world to wish Nigeria a Happy Birthday!”

Bauchi Gov Advocates Political Tolerance for Strong, Virile, United Nation

As the nation celebrates her 60th Independence anniversary, the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has emphasised the need for peaceful coexistence, harmonious relationship and political tolerance among the various ethno-religious and political entities in the country towards building a strong, united and virile nation.

He said all hands must be on deck towards building a strong united nation considering the fact that the period of politicking has passed with the conduct of the 2019 general election while 2023 is still miles away.

Mohammed, who spoke yesterday during a Town Hall meeting with youths and women as part of the activities marking Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day celebration held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi enjoined youths to get involved in “politics not as a tools in the hands of politicians who will use you for selfish ends, but be in politics to ensure good governance and a better future for yourselves”.

We Must Renew Our Belief in Nigeria, Says Ganduje

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has called on Nigerians and the people of Kano in particular to renew their faith in the country and aggregate their strength and focus towards building a stronger nation.

Ganduje said this in Kano while delivering a speech at the Independence Day celebration.

The governor congratulated Nigerians on the Independence celebration and called for special prayers especially by the clergy and traditional institutions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused devastation of lives and economies across the globe.

According to Ganduje, the peace being enjoyed in the state had contributed to the boost in commercial activities, noting that people from outside Kano and Nigeria are coming to do business without fear.

Strong Institutions to Promote Devolution of Power Key to Nigeria’s Development, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said Nigeria’s development will remain stunted without strong institutions that will promote devolution of power.

Wike made the assertion at an event to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day celebration at Government House, Port Harcourt.

He said it was time for Nigerians to confront core political and economic issues that hamper sustained growth.

According to him, to put Nigeria on the path of progressive growth, the rule of law, a fraud-proof electoral system, an effective neutrality of law enforcement agencies and independence of the judiciary should be put in place.

“We may gloat in the limited progress that we have made since independence. It is true that we have achieved relative expansion in access to education, healthcare and the socio-economic infrastructure.

“But if we fail to give considerations to the serious challenges preventing us, we cannot build a free, fair and just nation that will command the total loyalty of all nationalities.”

Fintiri Congratulates Nigeria

Adamawa State Governor, Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has congratulated Nigerians on the occasion of the nation’s 60th Independence anniversary.

This was contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Humwashi Wonosikou

He noted: “It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to Nigerians on the occasion of the nation’s 60th anniversary celebrations.”

The governor stressed that after two decades of democratic process, the political class must advance democracy, peace and prosperity through mutual interests based on shared democratic values.

He said: “It is possible to achieve a truly free society rooted in common values in order for democracy to thrive.”

Kogi Gov Tasks Nigerians on Protecting Rule of Law, Sovereignty

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has felicitated with Nigerians on the country’s 60th Independence anniversary, urging them to protect rule of law and the sovereignty as a people and nation.

The governor also prayed that “it may please the Almighty God to prove to Nigerians that diamonds are forever, and grant enduring future of unity and faith, peace and progress”.

In a state broadcast to the people of the state at Government House in Lokoja yesterday, Bello explained that every Nigerian would agree that the journey so far has been a challenging odyssey.

“It is a credit to our unbroken will to succeed and our resilience as a nation of diverse peoples that we have made it thus far despite plenty of milestones in our history where we could have messed it up, or missed it totally.”

Lack of Nation-state Reason for Disagreement, Laments Ex-NIMASA DG

Immediate-past Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has lamented that disagreements in the nation stems from the fact that Nigeria is not yet a nation-state but a country made up of many nations.

Peterside spoke yesterday while speaking at the annual October 1 Conversation organised by a good governance advocacy group, Unity House Foundation (UHF) in Port Harcourt, with the theme: ‘Where are the People’.

He said: “Nigeria is not necessary a nation-state, but it is a country we cannot deny that fact. Nigeria is made up of many nations forced by common colonial experience and within the past 100 years, have been trying to fund an indivisible bond of nationhood, where traditional and national lines of nations are blurred.

“Unfortunately, our history is littered with our struggle to become a nation-state. Nigeria is first an emerging community of nations in a holy or unholy marriage, doing everything possible to make the marriage. This for me is the first challenge, as a nation we have to deal with the challenge of nationhood.”

Gombe Gov Salutes Nigerians

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the good people of the state and Nigerians in general on the occasion of the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.

In a goodwill message to mark Nigeria at 60 and Gombe State at 24, Governor Yahaya reminded the people of the sacrifice of the nation’s founding fathers.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya said his administration has embarked on a 10-year development plan which will cover governance and socio-economic growth to ensure continuity in governance and lay solid foundation for an enduring development of the state.

Zulum Calls for Renewed Patriotism

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, yesterday called for renewed patriotism from all Nigerians.

The governor in a signed statement on Nigeria’s Independence anniversary celebration, conveyed his well wishes to President Muhammadu Buhari and all fellow citizens on the nation’s 60th anniversary.

Zulum thanked Nigerians from the North and South who have shown empathy for the people of Borno in the midst of daunting challenges facing the state.

The statement read: “As our dear country marks 60th independence day, it is my honour to extend well wishes to our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari and to fellow Nigerians.

“It is also an obligation for me to, on behalf of government and the good people of Borno State, extend our profound gratitude to millions of fellow Nigerians in the north and south who have ceaselessly demonstrated empathy for Borno State as we go through a phase of security challenges which we shall overcome by the grace of Almighty God.

Ortom Calls for Sovereign Conference to Chart Way Forward for Nigeria

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged the federal government to convene a Sovereign National Conference to chart the way forward for Nigeria.

Ortom said this yesterday at the IBB Square Makurdi, during the Interdenominational Independence Thanksgiving Service organised by the State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in collaboration with the Benue State Government.

He stated that the teething challenges facing the country culminating in high level corruption, insecurity, impunity and marginalisation necessitated his call, stressing that the sovereign national conference would provide the platform for frank discussions to strengthen the unity, peace and security of the country.

The governor also called for implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan, pointing out that the conference proffered solutions to the multifaceted problems confronting Nigeria.

He said at 60, Nigeria is in need of leaders who can steer the ship of development for the country and restore confidence in the minds of the people.

Okowa Wants FG to Reconstruct Benin-Warri Highway

As Nigeria marks 60 years of nationhood, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the federal government to embark on total reconstruction of Benin-Warri highway, saying the road has collapsed.

He also urged the government to give urgent attention to the Agbor-Eku road within the state, which is also in a deplorable condition.

The governor made the call at an interdenominational thanksgiving service at Government House Chapel, Asaba, yesterday, to mark the independence anniversary of the country.

He said that the poor state of the roads had accounted for loss of many lives and goods in accidents and robberies and also often resulted in loss of man-hours through unending traffic snarls.

The governor assured that as soon as the rainy season was over, work on Warri storm drainage project and concrete tarring of some roads in the area would commence, affirming that his administration was committed to giving equal attention to every part of the state.

Okowa implored the National Assembly to re-visit the Electoral Act amendment to guarantee free, fair and credible elections at all levels.

Kwara Speaker Harps on Unity, Patriotism

Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu, has called on Nigerians to continue to be united and patriotic in order to take the country to greater heights.

In a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday to congratulate Nigerians on the occasion of 60th year Nigeria’s Independence, Danladi-Salihu said that: “It is when we are united as a nation that goods things meant for us can be achieved without any hindrance”.

The statement which was signed by the Speaker’s Media Assistant, Mr. Ibrahim Sheriff said that, “Nigerians should continue to stay away from any act capable of dividing us as a nation”.

The statement added, “We must remain united, positive and optimistic of a better Nigeria, our challenges are enormous but we are making progress and it is our collective responsibility to ensure we contribute our respective quota as leaders and followers to attain the desired greatness of our dear country, Nigeria.”