Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa urged citizens not to lose hope in the ability of the country to overcome its present travails.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, in his speech at the anniversary ceremony held at the Cenotaph in Asaba, yesterday, said many people might not see reasons to celebrate because of the myriad of challenges facing the country, but we must give thanks to God because “we are not where we used to be.”
Okowa said those who lived in the colonial era and suffered a lot could attest to the fact that freedom of speech, association and movement as well as the right to pursue our dreams in a free society are blessings for which we should forever be grateful.x
The governor paid glowing tribute to the country’s founding fathers who worked tirelessly for the freedom being celebrated.
“Today, we celebrate the heroics of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Peter Enahoro, Michael Okpara, Tafawa Balewa and many others who suffered indignation, harassment in the struggle for independence.
“This anniversary offers us the opportunity to reflect on the journey so far and reaffirm our commitment to sustaining the legacy of our heroes past. This, we shall accomplish through sacrifice, innovation, dedication and tenacity,” Okowa said.
His Edo State counterpart, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, charged Nigerians to be united, resourceful and reignite the indomitable Nigerian spirit to triumph over the myriad of socio-economic challenges the nation is facing.x
Obaseki, in his message to commemorate the independence anniversary, urged citizens to be hopeful, prayerful and continue to work towards sustained peace, unity and progress of Edo State and the country.
“I heartily salute, congratulate and celebrate our great country Nigeria and its citizens, as we celebrate the 61st anniversary of the nation’s independence this year which, coincidentally, also marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of Edo State.
“As we celebrate these historic events, it is important that we deeply reflect on the vision of our founding fathers who laboured to secure our right to self-determination and establish a country based on equity, fairness and justice on October 1st 1960.”
“Today, I join all patriots to once again affirm that ‘though our tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand’ and that the ‘labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’”.x