- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has used the occasion of the country's Independence Anniversary to motivate Nigerians
- The Delta state governor asked citizens not to lose hope in the country despite the current challenges
- The governor, however, admitted that many areas of the country's life need critical improvements as soon as possible
Asaba - As Nigerians celebrate the 61st anniversary of its independence, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged them not to lose hope in the ability of the nation to come out of its present travails.
Okowa made the call in his Independence Anniversary speech in Asaba on Friday, October 1.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, said that many may not see reasons to celebrate because of the myriad of challenges facing the nation, but called on them to give thanks to God because the country is not where it used to be.
He said that those who lived in the colonial era and suffered a lot to personal freedom could attest to the fact that freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement, and freedom to pursue our dreams in a free society were blessings to which we should ever be grateful.
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Okowa also paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the nation who worked tirelessly for the freedom being celebrated.
“Today we celebrate the heroics of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Peter Enahoro, Michael Okpara, Tafawa Balewa, and many others who suffered indignation, harassment in the struggle for independence.
“This anniversary offers us the opportunity to reflect on the journey so far and reaffirm our commitment to sustaining the legacy of our heroes' past.
“This, we shall accomplish through sacrifice, innovation, dedication, and tenacity.
“I dare say that we can be proud of the progress we have made so far even though there are very many areas of our national life that need critical improvements.”
He called for prayers for leaders while also holding them accountable to the principles of good governance predicated on fairness, equity, and justice.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Theresa Diai, President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Patience Elumeze, Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Christopher Ochor.
It featured march-past by officers of the Nigerian Police, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Correctional Service, Civil Defence, Federal Road Safety Corps and DESTMA.
The high point of the ceremony was the cutting of the anniversary cake.
Okowa reiterates call for national dialogue, true federalism
Governor Okowa recently urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in prayers for the country as it continues to grapple with security and economic challenges.
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He made the call on Thursday, September 30 in Asaba, in his goodwill message to Nigerians on the 61st anniversary of the nation's independence.
In the message contained in a statement by his spokesman, Olisa Ifeajika, the governor reiterated his call for a national dialogue and a new constitution for the country.