President Goodluck Jonathan in his centenary address to the nation last night, lamented the misuse of the hope of prosperity that the discovery of oil in the 1950’s presented.
He said that the way forward was for Nigeria to rededicate herself to empowering the youth, adding, “Our common heritage and future prosperity are best protected and guarantee by them. We must commit our full energies and resources to empowering them to achieve our collective vision of greatness in this second century.”
He extolled the virtues of Nigeria’s founding fathers and thanked the armed forces for their dedication and sacrifice towards keeping the country a wholesome and undivided entity.
“My dear compatriots, as we celebrate our centenary, the security situation in some of our North-Eastern States, sadly remains a major concern for us. Just yesterday, young students, full of hopes and dreams for a great future, were callously murdered as they slept in their college dormitories in Yobe State.
“ I am deeply saddened by their deaths and that of other Nigerians at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to their parents and relatives, colleagues and school authorities”.
He further added, “I want to reassure Nigerians that terrorism, strife and insecurity in any part of Nigeria are abhorrent and unacceptable to us. I urge leaders throughout Nigeria to ensure that ethnicity and religion are not allowed to become political issues.
“We will continue to do everything possible to permanently eradicate the scourge of terrorism and insurgency from our country. We recognise that the root cause of militancy, terrorism and insurgency is not the strength of extremist ideas but corrupted values and ignorance”, he added.
Also, he said, “I hope and pray that one hundred years from now, Nigerians will look back on another century of achievements during which our union was strengthened, our independence was enhanced, our democracy was entrenched and our example was followed by leaders of other nations whose ambition is to emulate the success of Nigeria; a country that met its difficulties head-on and fulfilled its promise.
President Jonathan expressed confidence that the National Conference would provide the platform to confront the country’s challenges and hoped that the country would rise from the conference to overcome all obstacles on the path to the fulfilment of its potential for greatness.
By: Tony Ailemen