Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has identified cooperation and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians as the needed propeller for the country’s journey to greatness and development, saying greater Nigeria was possible in the foreseeable future.
He explained that Nigerians need not despair but rather stay strong together in working toward achieving a country that the world would come to appreciate even in the face of daunting challenges posed by current realities.
Abiodun said that no matter the prevailing circumstances, the country has proven to be an enigma, defying all predictions by pundits that it would not survive its challenging times and that the nation was nearer to its doom.
Speaking at the Special Church Service to mark the 60th National Day Celebration, held on Sunday at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, the Governor expressed optimism that the country was poised for greatness with its human and natural resources.
“Nigeria has always wriggled out of the most difficult situation better. I have no doubt that Nigerians should be hopeful and we all must be ready to contribute to that future which we desire. Be hopeful. As a nation, we are moving towards a better Nigeria.
“The task ahead is a collective one. We shouldn’t allow the prophecies of doom to define us. With prayers and given the human and material resources available, believe that things would get better.
“Many countries that gained independence with Nigeria are no longer together. They have either been balkanized by their internal realities or civil war. We have survived many vicissitudes and our despite her numerous challenges, especially in the area of economy and security, the country is still together and would move forward more prosperously”, he said.
“Despite all predictions, Nigeria is still standing. Our diversity is our strength. We are resilient and confident people. We surmounted the Civil war, Boko Haram. Tomorrow will bring the best in us. All we need to do is to work together. Nigeria will move forward. We must not prophesy doom. Nation-building is not for government alone, but the responsibility of all,”
He said the nation has produced men and women of substance who have distinguished themselves in all spheres of life, adding that a lot needed to be done towards economic sustainability and nation-building.
In his sermon, the retired Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Peter Akinola, decried the State of bloodletting in the country, saying that for the nation to experience development, efforts must be made to stop bloodletting, while the people must repent of their sins.
The retired Primate who took his sermon from the book of Ezekiel 22 vs 3-6, traced the era of spilling of blood in Nigeria to the time of independence, opined that no land full of blood could move forward and that there was need for repentance and tendering of apology to the families of those who lost their love ones as a result of killings.