As Nigeria marks its 59th Independence on Oct.1, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on citizens to put the country first and work for its betterment.
Mr Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 elections, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja on Monday, saying “no one is bigger than the laws of the land’’.
He urged lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress by not just praying and showing understanding but also taking democratic action to ensure that the ideals of the country`s founding fathers were protected.
He said that everyone had a role to play in making Nigeria great.
“You see, when we put Nigeria first; we not only revive the Nigerian dream, we also revive unity and faith, peace and progress.
“These were the ideals that our founding fathers had in mind when they came together to put forward this new and independent nation 59 years ago on Oct. 1, 1960.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we all have a role to play in making our nation great.
“Nigeria should be the beacon of hope, democracy and freedom, to not only the African continent but to the black Diaspora the world over.
“And to ensure that this becomes the case, we all have a duty to support and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And this we must do, so help us God.’’
Abubakar said that on Oct. 1, 1960, Nigeria’s founding fathers could never have fathomed that 59 years after, Nigeria would be facing some of the challenges “it is still having’’.
He said that it was evident that all was not well with the country, adding “it is not all gloom and doom. There is still hope. Much hope.
“ I took time to listen to a recent remark made by the Emir of Kano, HRM Muhammed Sanusi II about why we need to pay more attention to the issue of girl-child education. It is an age-long truism that women are the teachers of a nation.
“I make bold to say that the greatness of our country has much to do with how well we educate our children, especially the girl-child.’’
Abubakar commended Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara for leading the way by massively investing in public education.
“It is on this note that I wish all Nigerians a happy Independence Day. May God bless all of us and may God bless Nigeria.’’