The Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, have stated that despite its present challenges, Nigeria could remain united and stable with the right attitude from its citizens.
The chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Aliyu, who spoke on behalf of the forum, also urged Nigerians to mark its 54th year as an independent country working for its unity and prosperity.
The forum Chairman, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije, expressed optimism over the continued existence of Nigeria despite speculations on its possible collapse as it inches towards the 2015 elections.
He urged Nigerians to remember the labour of the country’s founding fathers and shun acts that would make the prophecy real. He said it was the duty of all Nigerians to shun acts that would undermine the unity of the country.
Mr. Aliyu called on those who have sentimentally balkanized Nigeria along political divides to use the 54th independent day celebration to reflect more on the gains in one Nigeria and not dwell on narrow interests.
“Let me congratulate Nigerians as we celebrate our 54th independence. It is my wish that we celebrate more independence in peace, harmony and prosperity. We need a country where our people can really call their home.
“We want a country where we can be independent from personal or group interests but united towards achieving common goal and aspiration as one Nigeria. While we have challenges of insecurity amidst fears of disintegration, we must realise that Nigeria has prospect; Nigeria has considerable international presence regardless of our challenges today. Believe me, so many nationals wish they were Nigerians,” he said.
He said the security situation presently giving a negative impression of Nigeria would soon be a thing of the past. He also noted that once politics was not seen as a ‘do or die’ affair people would be more focused on going about it peacefully, eclipsing the present malaise.
Mr. Aliyu said despite the level of mistrust and escalating hate across religious and ethnic divides on account of politics and interest-induced violence in parts of the country, Nigeria could still chart a direction from the present turbulence to its rightful position as a country on its way to social, economic and political prosperity.
“It is therefore my sincere prayers that Nigerians should mark this Independence Day celebration in the spirit of reconciliation. We must work towards healing wounds triggered by politics, religion and ethnicity. We need true reconciliation to work together as an indivisible entity. We shouldn’t just mark this year’s independence just for its ceremonial value but for the sake of encouraging ourselves that Nigeria is indeed a country worth fighting for; a country of patriotic citizenry and a country we are proud of, ” he said.