… Calls for patience, resilience and love
Governor Bassey Edet Otu of Cross River State has said that October 1 of every year should be a moment of profound reflection by Nigerians in the country’s experience of self-determination.
Otu made the remarks in his goodwill message to Cross Riverians on the nation’s 63rd Independence Anniversary.
The governor said rather than engaging in “fanfare and media razzmatazz”, citizens ought to reflect deeply on their individual efforts towards building a better future for Nigeria.
The message posted on Otu’s official Facebook page reads:
“My dear Cross Riverians, today we take a retrospective view and celebrate the arrest, intimidation, incarceration and other forms of human indignity our heroes of conscience suffered in order to set Nigeria free from the shackles of colonialism.
“The continuous reminiscence of who we were under Britain – our colonial masters and who we ought to be as an independent country, leaves much on our head to ponder and much on our hands to do in order to justify our independence. Our independence therefore ought to be the celebration of our self-determination, independent thought and action. Every 1st October of a year is therefore a period for deep reflection on our individual patriotic contribution towards nation building, rather than an occasion for fanfare and media razzmatazz.
“When the Nigeria Green-White-Green flag was being hoisted on 1st October, 1960 and the Britain Union Jack lowered, that was a symbolic elevation of the consciousness of Nigerians to take their destiny into their hands by way of patriotic zeal and action.
“While we applaud the patriotic consciousness of the late Anthony Enahoro for moving a motion for Nigeria independence in the British Parliament in 1953, we should realize the fact that the action was borne out of sheer sacrifice and patriotism. In this auspicious occasion of our independence anniversary, I urge everyone’s watchword to be ‘the country first’.
Our collective resolve and sacrifice we make as a people will make the country greater than what it was prior to 1st October, 1960. It is the only driving force towards a better Nigeria.
For it is our sense of unity that will guarantee the indivisibility of our country, sense of ingenuity will give us technological breakthrough while our sense of patriotism will be an enabler of peace and security of our nation.
“Fellow Cross Riverians, we are not denying the fact that we live presently in a very hostile economic environment with our compatriots in other States of the Federation. The same or less degree of this unfriendly economic climate is also prevalent in other parts of the world. What is required of all is solidarity, patience, resilience and love to collectively get our economy out of the woods. With our individual ideas put together, we will ultimately bring success to our present suffering.
“The past sixty three years of our nation’s independence, has seen us record some modest achievements in the political sphere, infrastructure, and importantly, We have had twenty four years (still counting) of unbroken civilian democratic governance.
“In order to consolidate on these gains, I enjoin all of us to bridge the fault lines of ethnicity, crime and criminality, hate and rancour and instead, imbibe the true spirit of brotherhood, patriotism and commitment to protect our democratic experience so that our political leaders can continue to provide the needed leadership.
“My administration will continue to work selflessly and sacrificially to take us to the Cross River of our collective dreams.
“I wish all of us a joyous 63rd independence celebration of our dear nativeland – Nigeria.
May God bless Cross River State!
May His face shine upon Nigeria!