By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon
Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Kalu preached for peace and unity amongst Nigerians as the nation marks the 60th independence anniversary on October 1st.
Kalu in a goodwill message to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, stressed that against all odds, Nigeria remained a united entity with a bright future.
According to Kalu, the strength of Nigeria lies in her cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.
He faulted perpetrators of secession agenda among ethnic groups and stressed that Nigeria would not break up but would continue 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.
The former governor of Abia pointed out that development cannot thrive in an atmosphere of discord and conflict.
“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, Dr 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 but 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,’’ Kalu said.
While promising to sustain his good works in business and politics for the sake of the people, Kalu emphasised that leadership positions should be seen as a clarion call to serve the people.
He noted that transparency must be sustained in the electoral process for Nigeria to attain its full potential.
Kalu further urged the political class to adopt policies and programmes aimed at improving the well-being of the nation.
He called on traditional rulers, spiritual leaders and other stakeholders to advocate a violence free society, adding that youths must be mentored by credible business and political leaders for the sake of Nigeria’s prosperity.
Kalu also urged privileged Nigerians to create employment opportunities and wealth for the youth.
According to him, 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.