I congratulate all Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s Independence Day anniversary and pray that our country will continue to exist in peace and unity, with continuous development across the nation.
At this point in our collective history, democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. All Nigerians should see today, the occasion of our nation’s 58th Anniversary, as an opportunity to redefine what really constitutes “the Nigerian dream.” We must rally around this dream and support leaders who are capable, competent and prepared to realise this dream for all Nigerians.
All of us must not neglect to participate in politics by leaving the political choices to only the politicians and manipulative elements who choose to invoke religious, ethnic and geo-political sentiments to impose leadership that is only supported for the purpose of serving the interests of those who put them in office.
As Nigerians, we must re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals of defining our personal interests in line with the realisation of our national objectives. Our national objectives should be to build a united, peaceful, economically strong and internationally respected nation, with a robust military, a well-motivated workforce, ambitious youth and fulfilled citizens.
These ideals are what we, as Nigerians, should aspire after.
Nigerians should not allow government officials and politicians to continue manipulating them in pursuit of narrow interests. It is only manipulation that will allow voters to ignore the competence, experience, suitability and temperament of aspirants for public office and rather focus on where they come from and how they worship their God.
Today, as we celebrate our 58th Independence Anniversary, Nigerians should vow that the leader who will lead the country when it is celebrating its 60th anniversary must be one who would have set this country on the path of genuine socio-economic development and political greatness.
Nigerians, we must not be complacent. Voters should be ready at all times to intervene when government starts to derail from our national objectives. Voters should intervene when government places personal and group interests above national interests. Never again, must we allow leaders who behave as emperors, maximum rulers or messiahs and their cabals to seize control of our government and its machinery.
With a vigilant citizenry that is well-informed and involved in monitoring government activities, officials and programmes, the prospect of good governance and improved standards of living for all Nigerians will be guaranteed.
Again, Happy Independence Day to you and your families.
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki
President of the Senate