By Our Correspondent
As Nigeria clocks 62 years of statahood, the Federal Government on Wednesday, declared Monday, Oct. 3, as a public holiday to mark the nation’s 62nd Independence anniversary celebration.
Ogbenu Rauf Aregbewsola, the Minister of Interior, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja.
In a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Belgore, Aregbesola assured of government’s commitment to tackling all the challenges facing the nation and bringing smiles to the faces of all the people, reiterating the eminent position of Nigeria in the comity of nations and the greatness ahead of the country.
Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Belgore, assured of government’s commitment to tackling all the challenges facing the nation and bringing smiles to the faces of all the people, reiterating the eminent position of Nigeria in the comity of nations and the greatness ahead of the country.
“The world is going through dire economic and security challenges which have also affected our nation.
“However, I am assuring us all that the government will not abandon the people, but will continue to confront all these challenges with all the might at our disposal until respite comes our way.
“Our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as our unbounded human capital and the richness of our land, make Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world and Africa’s pride and beacon of hope.
“If we can rally ourselves together to harness our potential, we shall be the greatest nation on the earth.
“A country of over 200 million people whose natural talents, grit and passion glitter like the precious diamond that we are; Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, science and technology, business, innovation, music, entertainment, fashion or culture,”’ Aregbesola said.
The minister admonished Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration to reflect on the challenges facing the nation and the role individuals can play in addressing them.
While wishing Nigerians a memorable independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that the founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue, still came together for Nigeria’s independence.
He stated “Though our nation is going through challenges, especially on security, these challenges are temporary and do not define us. We are defined by the greatness of the Nigerian people in our diversity, strength, ingenuity and resilience.
“We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the Almighty God for the stormy waters we have waded through and the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today,”
The minister however urged Nigerians to shun violence of any kind and be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS, saying “when you see something do N-Alert for the prompt response from security agents”.