Former President Goodluck Jonathan has commended Nigerians for their loyalty to the country in the face of the modest successes and developmental challenges the nation has faced since independence.
Jonathan said this in a statement by his Media Special Adviser, Mr Ikechukwu Eze on in Abuja.
“It is now 63 years since our dear country got her independence from Britain.
“This commemoration offers us the opportunity to reflect on Nigeria’s great journey of nationhood; acclaim our modest strides, reassess the odds we survived, chart a path out of present challenges and renew our hopes for a greater tomorrow.
“Our country has seen progress as well as setbacks. Patriotic Nigerians, believing in their country, have always stood firm, sharing in the glory of successes and feeling the pain of missed opportunities,” Jonathan said.
He said that if there was a sense of disappointment among the population, especially youths, on the nation’s failed aspirations, over the years, such feeling was not entirely out of place.
“Yet, rather than despair, we should look back at the encouraging signposts that set the tone for an auspicious future and the promise that we could attain our growth and development goals.
“Our nation survived a civil war, pulled through economic downturns at different times and has continued to hold its ground against threatening socio-political challenges, leveraging that indomitable spirit that guided our nationalists to remain steadfast and focused.
“This is the same disposition that today strengthens our citizens and enlivens their spirit and hope against the menace of terrorism, insecurity, economic hardship and worsening effects of climate change,” Jonathan said.
He added that it was the spirit that pushed Nigerians to excel on the global stage in sports, medicine, music, arts, technology and scholarship.
“As we mark yet another independence anniversary, we should focus our energy towards enthroning equity, justice, peace.
“Towards enthroning national cohesion in order to bring to fruition the dream of Nigeria realising its full potential and holding up the torch of liberty and progress for all Africans. Happy Independence Anniversary. God bless Nigeria,” Jonathan added