63rd Independence: Governor Makinde Urges Renewed Hope for Unity
By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has referred to Nigeria’s renewed hope for unity and prosperity as not a mere aspiration but a call to action.
Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Bayo Lawal, said this in an address, shortly after taking the salute at the 63rd Independence Anniversary parade of the country, held at the Main Bowl of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor asserted that with unity, the nation could overcome any obstacle, bridge any divide, and achieve greatness beyond her wildest dreams, expressing the firm belief that Nigeria’s best days were still ahead despite the challenges that had tested the country’s resolve.
He said: “Today, as we gather to celebrate the 63rd anniversary of our great nation’s independence, we stand at a crossroads in our history. We find ourselves at a pivotal moment, a moment that calls for renewed hope, unity, and a shared commitment to prosperity.
“Our journey to nationhood has been marked by successes and sorrows, but our tenacity as a people has shone brilliantly through it all. We have conquered numerous challenges, and it is this spirit of perseverance that should fill our hearts with hope as we move forward,” the governor stated.
Makinde observed that Nigeria’s strength had always been built on unity, as the country is a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and customs, a diversity which he said contributes to the richness of her national fabric, noting that despite existing differences, the nation’s power rests in her capacity to unite as one and work toward a common goal: the advancement and prosperity of the nation.
He noted: “There have been times in recent years when our unity has been put to the test. We were endangered by political differences, ethnic hostilities, and economic imbalances. Today, however, I stand before you to affirm that these difficulties do not define us. They are only momentary stumbling stones on our way to greatness. It is time to rise beyond our differences, embrace our diversity, and construct a stronger, more united Nigeria.”
The governor said although prosperity had been an unattainable aspiration for many Nigerians as they had been afflicted by economic downturns, unemployment, and poverty, Nigeria’s potential for wealth was limitless as the country is endowed with enormous natural resources, a thriving entrepreneurial culture, and a brilliant and young population.
Makinde called on Nigerians to remember the sacrifices made by the nation’s forefathers who battled for liberty, remember their memory by working tirelessly to develop a country that the forefathers would be proud of —a Nigeria where every person, regardless of background, had the opportunity to prosper, as the country celebrates 63 years of independence.
He stated: “In conclusion, let me reaffirm my unwavering belief in the potential of Nigeria and its people. Happy 63rd Independence Day, Nigeria. May this day mark the beginning of a new chapter in our history, a chapter of unity, prosperity, and boundless hope.”
Students from both public and private schools and few paramilitary organisations from across the state participated in the event, while members of the organised Labour, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterpart, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), in the state, were absent.
The venue and the surrounding environment was low in the level of funfair, pump and ceremony usually associated with such event which was attended by top government functionaries.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards and gifts to deserving participating schools in the match past.