Goverernor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says Nigeria has cause to celebrate in spite of the challenges facing the nation.
He stated this Sunday at the Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service held at the St Paul’s Catholic Church< Benin City, to mark Nigeria’s 53rd Independence anniversary.
According to the Governor, ”we celebrate independence not because we do not have challenges, just like you celebrate your birthday, not that you have become the richest man. Nigeria has problems. Every country has its own problems and our task is to remind ourselves that Nigeria is for all of us to build”.
He said “you cannot come from another part of the world to build Nigeria and if give up on Nigeria, you don’t have another country. All of us must rededicate ourselves and I do not believe that Nigeria has no future. The fact that leaders have failed does not mean that everybody has failed, it does not mean that there are no honest and responsible people in the country”.
He said our young people must recognize that America and what the UK have their own challenges. “There are people sleeping on the streets of New York, there are homeless people there”, he said.
“Those who think by lamenting and wallowing in self pity would change things, nothing changes when you perfect how to cry, things change when you do things differently”, he said.
He urged the youths to refuse to copy the shortcomings of the elders, stressing that the elders should re-examine themselves as we celebrate independence.
Earlier, in his homily, the ArchBishop of the Catholic Diocese of Benin, Most Rev Father Augustine Akubeze said the day has been set aside as a day of prayers and thanksgiving by churches for the country.
He said “this call for prayers must be taken seriously by all of us. While we may lament that the country may not be moving as we may have wished, it will not be right not to count our blessings. In the midst of all, we should give thanks to God.
“Those who say why should we pray and give thanks have no faith, because if not for God, we will all have perished by now.”
The Governor later led other dignitaries in thanksgiving