“We are now in a period where the unity, prosperity and happiness of our people must be our collective priority.”
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for organising the centenary celebrations. The party said the centenary celebrations have fostered unity and genuine reconciliation among Nigeria’s leaders and people.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, made the announcement in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
Many Nigerians including the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, had criticised the federal government for proceeding with an elaborate celebration at a period the country was supposed to be mourning the dozens of secondary school students murdered by the insurgent Boko Haram a few days before the celebration began.
Mr. Metuh, however, said the party was proud of President Goodluck Jonathan for organising the ceremony, adding that it had showcased the best of the nation to the international community.
Mr. Metuh said that the centenary event had rekindled the Nigerian spirit and revived “our sense of patriotism and inner love for one another as one people’’.
The spokesman said that the centenary concert did not only remind Nigerians of their common root but that it also focused on the country’s rich heritage.
“This came alive because we combined our energies as a people.
“It showed we are indeed, one people determined to succeed and that our divisions are as ephemeral as they are artificial.’’
He commended Mr. Jonathan for organising the centenary prayers and award night.
Mr. Metuh said that this was the first time in the history of Nigeria that its current and past leaders were brought under one roof, in spite of their perceived differences.
“This shows that our differences and disagreements as a nation do not get to the bones and can always be resolved,” he said.
Mr. Metuh thanked Mr. Jonathan for using the event to awaken the spirit of patriotism by honoring outstanding Nigerians and engendering genuine reconciliation among the country`s leaders. This feat, he said, had opened the portals for a new era of peace and unity among the people, irrespective of political, religious, ethnic and sectional affiliations.
He expressed gratitude to the nation’s leaders for their show of statesmanship, advising that such understanding, maturity and patriotism should trickle down to other leaders at all levels.
“The entire world is watching us. We are now in a period where the unity, prosperity and happiness of our people must be our collective priority,” he said.
He said that the country was now in an era where the shedding of the blood of the innocent must stop.
According to him, we are now in an era where the nation and the people will no longer be defined by political, tribal, religious and sectional considerations but as a united people with a common destiny.
“Our nation has for long been under attack by sectional interests and this is the time to silence such interests and build a strong and united country.
“The challenges we face are transitory and cannot defeat our collective spirit.’’
He expressed the need for Nigerians to support the country’s leaders and to engage only in constructive criticisms.
“Let us stand up and collectively establish and defend the unity and greatness of our dear nation so that the labours of our heroes past shall not be in vain.’’