The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekwermadu, has described national unity and good governance as essential ingredients in the nationâ€™s quest for national development.
Senator Ekweremadu stated this in his independence message to Nigerians.
He reasoned that the nationâ€™s founding fathers were able to achieve independence for Nigeria because they rose above political, ethnic, religious, and sectional cleavages to speak with one voice.
He said: â€œSadly, there is no doubt that the full blessings of political independence has continued to elude us. I, therefore, believe that the occasion of the 55th Independence Anniversary is an opportunity for soul searching and retracing of our steps.
â€œWe inherited a country where Nigerians won elections and held high political and civil service positions outside their places of origin. In our recent past, late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibeâ€™s presidential ticket was overwhelmingly embraced across the nation despite the fact that they were both Muslims. But it is almost unthinkable in the Nigeria of today. This is certainly not the type of freedom and country our founding fathers fought forâ€.
He however expressed strong belief that the nation would overcome her challenges, including the present economic crunch, if those in positions of authority embraced good governance and used their positions to rally the nation to common national goals.
He added that the sheer fact that Nigeria remains one indivisible country 55 years after independence despite all she has been through was a major achievement and a cause to celebrate.
â€œIt also means that the factors upon which the nationâ€™s greatness was predicted are still intact, but we must conscientiously address the issue of national unity to move forwardâ€, he stressed.
He wished Nigerians a happy independence anniversary.
Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate