Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has called on citizens to eschew divisions and unite to rebuild the state as the nation marks its 59th independence anniversary.
The governor made the call in a goodwill message to Nigerians on the anniversary as conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday in Asaba.
He said there was a need for all Nigerians to shun primordial sentiments of ethnicity, religion and all forms of sectionalism, and collaborate to rebuild a nation where peace, justice, and economic growth would reign.
He said that the people had suffered avoidable hardship because of a lack of commitment on the part of leaders and called for a greater commitment toward nation-building.
He said Nigerians should engage in additional constructive and patriotic citizen-participation in governance, adding that the country was grappling with the inability to realize the dreams of its founding fathers, who fought for its independence.
According to him, citizens have failed to change the narratives by allowing sentiments to determine their choice of leaders and what national interest should entail.
He also charged leaders to be more committed to the cause of nation-building and shun corruption, ethnicity, religious and regional considerations in taking critical decisions affecting the nation.
Okowa Urges Citizen to be steadfast and committed to Nation
The governor thanked Delta people for living in peace in spite of the states’ multi-ethnic configuration, assuring that his administration would continue to work hard to provide solutions to problems plaguing them.
“On behalf of the state and also the people of Delta, I congratulate Nigerians on the occasion of the 2019 Independence celebration.
“As a nation, we have enjoyed democratic governance in the last twenty years, but we have not fully harnessed the gains of democracy.
“It is appalling that once twenty years of democracy in Nigeria, we are still faced with some challenges of corruption, insecurity and infrastructure deficits as a nation.
“I urge all Nigerians to use the occasion of the 59th Independence anniversary to redefine what should constitute national interest, and unite and rally to realize that dream.
“Let the United States only support and elect leaders with competence and capacity to realize the dream of rebuilding and uniting the state.
“As a people, we must take interest in politics and ensure that our choice of leaders is devoid of religious, ethnic and geopolitical considerations, and it should permeate all levels.
“I urge leaders at all levels to re-dedicate themselves to the ideals of politics and good governance to ensure that they deliver a better nation to our people,’’ he said.
Okowa added that “at this point, let me thank all Deltans, especially the people of the oil-producing communities, for giving peace a chance which has culminated in uninterrupted oil production in our state.
“Let me reassure you all that as a government, we will still proffer solutions to address challenges in all sectors of our state’s economy.”