by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
As Plateau state marks the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary at weekend, the state governor, Simon Lalong, has asserted that, “The responsibility of making Nigeria great belongs to all of us that dwell in it. It is our country, and we have no other.
“While we hold accountable those in public offices (whether elected or appointed), who have been given the assignment of leadership to be accountable, fair, just and proactive, we cannot fail to support them,” he stated.
Speaking during a church service to mark the 60th Independence anniversary held at the St. Monica Catholic Church, Rantya, Jos Plateau State, the governor said “Failure to support them because of differences of religion, ethnicity, politics and other affiliations will keep all of us running in circles and down.”
Lalong said, Nigeria will rise above its current challenges to fulfill its divine mandate as the largest black nation in the world, adding that there is a lot to celebrate, despite some of its challenges.
According to him, “Nigeria has made giant strides over the last 60 years in various areas, including education, health, science and technology, agriculture, infrastructure and democracy.”
The governor acknowledged that the nation still faces other challenges related to security, good governance, unity and corruption, but urged that Nigerians must be united to resolve these issues, in order to make room for development.
He said his Rescue Administration has done its best to restore security in the state and also pursue economic and infrastructural development.
In his homily, Msgnr. Prof. Cletus Gotan, while citing the scriptural book of Ezekiel 18:25-28 and Philippians 2:1-11, among other scriptures, said “Nigeria is a great country, which is blessed in all aspects but has been held down by greed, political maladministration, corruption, poverty and insecurity.”
He stressed that, “Nigeria is in need of a Nehemiah, who will galvanize positive action for emancipation of the nation to a direction where justice, equity, fairness, righteousness and tolerance will take precedence over parochial considerations, which appear to have been given prominence in governance.”
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Plateau State, Rev. Fr. Polycap Lubo, said the Church on the Plateau will continue to pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria as well as Plateau State.
Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir. Joseph Ari, was at the service to offer Thanksgiving to God over his reappointment for a second term by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Bishop of Bauchi, Most Rev. Hillary Dachelem, Bishop of Bauchi, top government officials and heads of security agencies in the state were at the Church Service.