Former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has commended Nigerians for their steadfastness, resilience, selflessness and patriotism in the pursuit of Nigeria’s unity.
According to Kalu in a statement on Wednesday, the strength of Nigeria lies in her cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.
He faulted those pursuing secession agenda among ethnic groups, stressing that Nigeria will not break up but continue to wax strong as a united and prosperous nation.
While calling on leaders at all levels to adopt an inclusive and participatory approach of governance, Kalu urged Nigerians to shun violence and other social vices, adding that development cannot thrive in an atmosphere of discord and conflict.
In the goodwill message in commemoration of Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, the former Governor stressed that against all odds, Nigeria remains a united entity with a bright future.
He said: “As we mark Nigeria’s diamond jubilee, it is imperative for Nigerians, regardless of colour, tribe, religion and political affiliation, as individuals and as a people to reflect on the past in a bid to forge ahead.
“Nigeria’s independence was granted in 1960 with the support of Nigeria’s founding fathers: Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Nnamdi Azikwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others.
“The ideals and exemplary leadership qualities of these founding fathers must be embraced by leaders at all levels to achieve greatness in the land.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in her ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. A nation with over 200 million people and over 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is blessed and as such, Nigerians must remain resilient, steadfast and united for us to achieve the desired greatness.
“No doubt, as a heterogeneous nation, there will always be challenges.
“We must shun divisive tendencies by promoting the common goal of building a prosperous nation.
“Both the governed and the government have shared responsibility of promoting credible leadership and good governance.
“Nigeria as a nation deserves the best in view of the vast human and material resources at her disposal.
“Government cannot do it alone without the support of the teeming populace.
“By adhering strictly to the tenets of democracy, the people will have the opportunity to elect credible and responsive leaders.
“The federal government, international community, the media, civil society organisations and other stakeholders deserve commendation for their robust efforts in promoting credible elections in Nigeria.”
The Senator, who promised to sustain his good works in business and politics for the sake of the people, emphasised that leadership positions should be seen as a clarion call to serve the people, noting that transparency must be sustained in the electoral process for Nigeria to attain its full potentials.
While admonishing the political class to adopt policies and programmes aimed at improving the well being of the nation, Kalu called on traditional rulers, spiritual leaders and other stakeholders to use their platforms to advocate a violence-free society, adding that the youth must be mentored by credible business and political leaders for the sake of Nigeria’s prosperity.
The former governor urged privileged Nigerians to create employment opportunities and wealth for the youth, adding that the private sector being a major contributor to national income has a critical role to play in economic and national development.
Kalu wished Nigerians a hitch-free and memorable independence anniversary celebration.