57 years after: Keeping hope alive

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Being An Address Of Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, On The 57th Nigeria Independence

I join millions of Nigerians and lovers of the country to congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, and other members of the Federal Executive Council and National Executive Council on our dear country’s attainment of age 57 years.

I stand in solidarity with the good people of Ondo State whose resilience in the face of daunting socio-economic challenges marks as exemplary.

The itinerary to nationhood has spanned over a century, with almost the last six decades spent as an independent country. It has been tortuous, bumpy and confounding.

We have had moments of serious trials which threatened our tenuous resolve for existential amity. There have been impressions which excite suspicion and commend centrifugal preferences. However, perspicacity, placed on experiential pedestal, suggests, strongly, our continued co-existence as we improve on the level of understanding based on the received national template.

There have been several theories propounded on the best approach to nationhood. Constitutional order seems to attract the utmost attention in our people’s quest for national understanding and progress. Not a few believe that there is the urgent need to tinker with the current document, if we are indeed desirous of achieving meaningful development. The pervasive sentiment supports the engagement of ethnic nationalities, the amalgam which constitute the polity, in an urgent dialogue.

Everyone acknowledges the imperative of sincere and dispassionate assessment of the journey to national prosperity. All are agreed on our continued existence as an indivisible entity despite all odds. Very few of our compatriots take extreme positions based on perceived shortcomings in our national affairs. We must show empathy with their frustrations occasioned by misunderstanding.

In addition, we must take real steps to address issues which border on socio-economic inequities. As we proceed in a shared destiny to nationhood, there is the need to cast aside all divisive tendencies and acrimonious predilections.

We acknowledge the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring that our country regains her pride of place in the comity of nations. We salute the doggedness of the President and his team for their patriotic duties to the fatherland.

There are promising indices of real development after the excruciating experiences of privation engendered by several years of desultory economic planning. Our country gradually, but steadily, moves away from the destructive path of utter dependency to a productive enclave. This government is serious about replacing despondency with hope. Our country is lucky to have President Muhammadu Buhari in the saddle.

We, on our part, in our state, are ready to imbibe the lessons of the new thinking. Our people now appreciate and are ready to join the Government to make all engagements geared towards the attainment of ultimate happiness for the greatest number of people.

Our leadership will continue to encourage the citizens of the state to imbibe the philosophy of patriotism, hard work, honesty and peaceful co-existence, among all those who live within our territory as well as those who may, from time to time, have legitimate reasons to visit us.
We are determined in our resolve to make life more meaningful for our people. We shall protect all and sundry and continue to erect structures which will deter the deviants and undesirable elements.

We wish all Nigerians a successful celebration and pray that the Almighty will guide our steps, always, in our bid to make the country a peaceful and prosperous polity where no man is oppressed on account of ethnicity, religion or legitimate aspirations.
I congratulate us all.

Long live, the Sunshine State
Long live, the Federal Republic of Nigeria

ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O. AKEREDOLU SAN
GOVERNOR, ONDO


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