The Senate on Thursday, congratulated Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s 57th Independent Anniversary, on Oct. 1, and cautioned the people to avoid violence and anything that would threaten the peace and unity of the country.
This followed a Point of Order by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, on the floor of the Senate.
While raising the point of order, Ekweremadu said though the country had witnessed several challenges since independence, it was making progress in various sectors.
He also urged Nigerians to continue to tow the path of peace and always entrench values that would move the country forward.
“I congratulate my colleagues and constituents on this year’s anniversary and I call on us all to continue to work for the growth of the economy.
“I am optimistic that this country will get over its challenges and continue to maintain its place in the comity of nations.
“Shortly before the 2015 elections, we were the fastest growing economy and I know we are making progress,’’ he said.
Contributing, the Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, said the sacrifices of the country’s founding fathers and all those who brought the country to its present position would not be forgotten.
“We must remember our heroes that died during the civil war, never again will the country experience another civil war because it is difficult to recover from war.
“At a point in our history as a country, we were looked at as a country with motion and no movement, but I am happy we have overcome all that.
“However, our leaders must ensure justice for all. We must not allow marginalistion because it leads to agitation.
“The current trend in the country shows that we need restructuring,’’ he said.
The minority leader called on the legislature to play its part in restructuring the economy.
Akpabio, who also congratulated Nigerians on the celebration, said there was need to “rejig’’ the country and urged all hands to be on deck to achieve that.
The Chairman Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Sen. Shehu Sani, said there was no doubt that the journey through independence had not been easy.
He, however, expressed hope that in spite the problems the country had gone through, it would forge ahead.
Sani called on Nigerians to use the opportunity of this year’s celebration “to carry out the necessary adjustments needed to strengthen all sectors of the economy.’’
Sen. Atai Aidoko (PDP-Kogi), called on Nigerians to use the occasion to reflect on areas Nigeria ought to take advantage of, to compete favourably with other countries.
He lamented that despite the country’s political, social and economic might, it had not been able to compete favourably with countries like Malaysia that it had independence with.
Aidoko said, “as leaders, we need to redirect our agenda for this great country and be more focused toward making a mark, globally.
“I urge us to take a critical look at the present situation and work on our weaknesses so that we can catch up with countries Nigeria started with.’’
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said there was something to be happy for as a country.
Saraki, who acknowledged that the country had gone through trying times, assured that hope was not lost.
He called on all and sundry to work for peace and unity, rather than fan the embers of discord.
The Senate stressed that “ rather than seeing the cup as half empty, we should see it as half full because there is assurance that things will get better.
“Nigeria is a work in progress and we must all come together to take it to where it ought to be.
Saraki congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians as the country prepare to celebrate another anniversary