Nigeria back on track
By Isiaka Wakili, Kehinde Akinyemi, Abeokuta; Vincent Egunyanga, Benin, Aliyu M. Hamagam & Abdullahi Anako, Dutse
‘Nigeria is back on the right track:’ This is the general theme that permeated speeches and remarks by leaders as the country marked its 55th anniversary yesterday.
The remarks were made by former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed, National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress John Odigie-Oyegun and many state governors.
Their comments were in relation to the performance of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari which is now four months old in power.
Former President Obasanjo in remarks yesterday at his residence in
Abeokuta, Ogun state said: “We are not doing badly.”
Obasanjo who said he met with former world leaders during the just concluded United Nations (UN) General Assembly, in New York noted that they had a good impression of President Buhari.
Such leaders, he said, included former U.S. President Bill Clinton and ex-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown adding that their general impression was that “Nigeria is back at the table” with the world leaders.
“I heard some of the comments of those he (Buhari) met, the comment that probably would not come back to him.
“He met Clinton for almost one hour and President Clinton, when I joined him for his global initiative talked to me about the impression of our President, it was favourable.
“Gordon Brown and I met him and we talked about issues. The few other leaders who met him gave me their impression and his debut so to say, it has been good.
“I think we are at the table, what they use to say that Nigeria is not at the table, now we are present at the table.”
In separate interviews with State House correspondents yesterday after a low-key independence anniversary celebration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Saraki, Chief Justice Mohammed and Odigie-Oyegun all said Nigeria was on the right path to greatness.
Saraki said: “I am hopeful and confident that the future is very bright. In the next few years, things will be even better. It will not be business as usual.”
On his part, Chief ustice Mohammed said: “We will make it by the grace of God. We are on the right path”.
For Oyegun, “At 55, we have finally discovered that we had been on the wrong road. We have finally moved to the road that leads to progress, hope, employment, prosperity and that will lead Nigeria, finally to attaining that greatness that God destined it for. We are on the way”.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State in his anniversary message said Nigeria had started to reclaim her lost glory in the comity of nations since President Muhammadu Buhari took the reins of governance.
He said the nation had made costly mistakes in the past and lessons have been learnt from those mistakes, urging Nigerians to renew their faith in the nation as better days are ahead.
“As a leading country not only in Africa but in the black world, I think today is a very unique day in the life of our nation. At 55, I believe, we have every reason to celebrate this occasion.
“In all of this, we remind you that our country is stronger today than it was 55 years ago. Regardless of what some commentators might say, I believe that our country is more united today than it was 55 years ago. To speak of unity is not to suggest that diversity is not there. In 2011, in demonstration of our unity and in celebration of our diversity, Nigerians across all primordial sentiments elected a President that presided for 4 years. Earlier this year, Nigerians across all divides; North, South, East and West, Christians and Muslims also exercised our rights and democratically elected the current President.
“I ask us to support the President, have faith in our country and together, we will build Nigeria to a level and put in place the right socio-economic policy framework that will ensure that the wealth of our nation is reflected in the quality of life of our people.
The governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar also said that the wind of change under the president Mohammadu Buhari, is evidently taking over all sectors of development in the country.
The governor stated that the wind of change became evident in the improved supply of petroleum products as well as in the power sector.
Badaru said while congratulating Nigerians on attaining 55 years of nationhood that this year’s anniversary was symbolic as it was coming at the time when a new dispensation was coming on board.
“All these are as a result of the dynamic leadership being provided by our amiable president, Muhammadu Buhari. I therefore, congratulate all Nigerians as our nation attains 55 years of nationhood.
President Muhammadu Buhari (5th right); Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (6th right); Senate President Bukola Saraki (4th right); Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (5th left); Chief Justice of the Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed (3rd right) and service chiefs, cut the 55th Independence Anniversary cake at the Presidential Villa Abuja yesterday.