Okorocha, Ambode, Ikpeazu: put nation above ethnic, religious sentiments

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and their Abia State counterpart, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, have enjoined Nigerians to put the unity of the country above ethnic, political and religious sentiments.
The Imo governor appealed to ethnic and separatist groups to jettison all quest for sovereignty and come together to build a progressive and united nation.
Okorocha, in his goodwill massage to Nigerians by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, noted that “for Nigeria to have remained one indivisible nation for 55 years despite the challenges that have been confronting it as a multi-ethnic nation does not only deserves to be celebrated but also calls for thanksgiving to God Almighty”.
He said: “At 55, Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians as a people should begin to see the unity of the country as a development that has become indelible, which should also encourage the citizenry to think less about tribal and religious differences, and think more about the harmony and progress of the nation.
“Nigerians should equally begin to take the wordings of the National Anthem and the National Pledge more serious than they had never done before. The truth is that the wordings of the National Anthem and the National Pledge should stand as the creed of all Nigerians of goodwill. The National Anthem should not be seen and treated as an ordinary music and the National Pledge shouldn’t be seen and said as an ordinary poem. Their wordings call for sober reflections on the part of Nigerians”.
The governor also advised that “as a matter of fact, at 55 years of age, Nigerians should also grow beyond ethnic war songs. Hence, ethnic associations and groups beating ethnic war drums should put a halt to that. Even the quest for sovereignty by some zonal or ethnic bodies should also be dropped since such tendencies have no meaningful contribution to the unity, development and prosperity of the nation.
“Nigeria has come to stay as a nation and there is nothing anybody can do about that. What is expected is that all hands should be on deck to build a Nigeria of our collective dream where freedom, peace and unity abound, and where the labour of our heroes past, shall never be in vain.
“It is also important that Nigerians leverage on the 55th Independence Day event to pray for the leadership of the nation at the moment, and the leadership at the state levels, and pray that the lofty desire of President Mohammadu Buhari to rid Nigeria of corruption should produce the needed result”.
Ambode said patriotism and selfless service are two aspects that can truly reflect the essence of the country’s independence.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, said the period must not be lost on anyone.
He urged Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the pride and service of the nation as exemplified by the founding fathers.
Ambode said there was need to rekindle the flame that ignited the determination of the founding fathers to fight for and obtain independence and the pride they had in serving the country.
He called on Nigerians to support the efforts by President Muhammadu to rebuild the nation’s foundation, saying such efforts could not be left to the government alone.
The governor prayed that the Buhari administration would succeed in its quest to reduce poverty, fight corruption, change the economic fortunes and stem insecurity.
Ikpeazu commended Nigerians on the 55th independence celebration which he said was not attained on a platter of gold but through a dint of hard work and the grace of God.
In a state wide broadcast, Ikpeazu said the attainment of independence was a culmination of years of struggle, agitation, intellectual arguments, selflessness and a nationalistic fervour that brought out the best in our leaders.
Ikpeazu said the sacrifices were made for the attainment of the larger goal and ambitions were subsumed to enable the dream to be actualised and urged the present-day youth to emulate the sacrificial spirit of their forefathers.
He said 55 years down the line, “Nigeria has been through many epochs; as much as we have witnessed many challenges, we have also witnessed remarkable triumphs. Indeed, as a people, we have a lot to be thankful to God for”.
The governor said: “As you all are aware, we have embarked on a voyage of consolidating on the greatness of Abia State. Our ship set sail on May 29, 2015 and we immediately commenced an epochal journey sure of our destination and unwavering in our commitment to get there.
“We have since inception initiated a number of projects and taken a number of measures aimed at sanitising the system and enthroning a culture of fiscal discipline and prudent management of available resources to meet our developmental objectives.”


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