Nigeria At 60: Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Independence Anniversary Speech (Full Text)



My dear good people of Imo State,  I salute you most happily on this auspicious date of the 60th anniversary of our our national independence. I believe that many Nigerians will recall  with much nostalgia that it was on this day, 60 years ago, that the symbolic lowering of the Union Jack was carried out  in our dear country, to herald independence and its attendant liberty.

By all accounts, it was a momentous day in the history of the nation. No event is yet to equal it for the hope and joy it evoked in Nigerians everywhere. 

With good reason; Independence was a "stepping out" and "coming of age".  With independence our nation took its rightful place in the assembly of nations, as a proud sovereign country.

 Naturally much was expected from independence. Among  othér rights, Nigerians looked forward to unfettered freedom, equity and justice. They saw in the birth of the new nation the opportunity to reclaim their human dignity, which the colonialist had suppressed for decades. The euphoria of independence was exhilarating and Nigerians gloried in their new status. 

Sixty years afterward, some of that shine have worn off naturally.  Yet the charter of liberty of citizenship,enshrined in the sovereign rights of nations, remain the same. 

 Challenges persist and they seem to grow by the day. Some of the challenges have been daunting and sometimes  call to question our belief in Nigeria and trust in the nation. 

As the years passed, the onerous task of governance appears to have dented our national pride and dwarfed our expectations. No doubt the journey so far has been rough, tough and daunting, but Nigeria still holds a great promise 

The negatives on the Nigerian development index may be astounding. For instance ethnic, religious and political divisions persist with increasing virulence.  Civil tension ravages the country with  bloodletting from terrorist activities, banditry and other criminal activities. 

In addition corrosive corruption in all facets of society makes governance more herculean. A horrendous civil war and serial  military rule in the short span of sixty years has not helped matters either 

Nonetheless inspite of these obvious draw backs there is so much to  cheer about Nigeria. That is what we should be celebrating today. We should be celebrating the sacrifices of our founding fathers which gave birth to the Nigerian nation. We should be celebrating the  resilence and  unwavering commitment of our country men and women to project Nigeria, which has kept this country together inspite of all odds.

Sixty years in the life of a nation may not be much, but it is for us Nigerians. So much has happened within Sixty years to tell us that God loves our country. It is worth celebrating that inspite of every scary twists and turns, Nigeria has remained one indivisible nation, to the glory of God. 

This auspicious occasion of our 60th independence anniversary therefore calls for our re-dedication to the lofty ideals of nationalhood. It calls for a recommitment to project Nigeria. It enjions us to do only those things that promote the unity and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians.

We must awaken the spirit in us that says we can overcome our  present challenges and  build for generations to come,  enduring foundations, for a united and more progressive nation than we have at the moment. This is the message of independence.

This is  also the grand vision of my administration in Imo State. Coming into office barely nine months ago,  we encountered a microcosm of systemic corruption and  disruption in the public sector. We met monumental payroll fraud in the system. We met a disoriented and disarticlated civil service and  a very sorry State of infrastructural provisions.

Today to the glory of God, we have made impressive strides in addressesing the rot. The payroll system has been cleansed and automated. The civil service, through massive injection of training programmes and provision of basic needs, have been revived and repositioned for greater productivity. Decayed infrastructures are being revived. All said, today, Imo State is on the move and looking up, to the glory of God.

As we mark our 60th independence anniversary, I  call on all Nigerians to join  President  Muhammadu Buhari in saying no to corruption and support his administration which is working assiduously to remedy the mistakes of the past.

I have no doubt in my mind that President Buhari means well for our nation and that the foundations he has laid in the economic and social sectors will go a long way in getting our country out of the woods. I am also confident that the president's measured strategies in the fight against insecurity will ultimately restore peace in the land 

As we celebrate Nigeria's independence anniversary today, I use the opportunity to congratulate Mr President for providing transparent leadership and to salute all Nigerians for their enviable resilence in keeping faith with project Nigeria.

 Congratulations to all of us 

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria !

Long live Imo State !!

Long live the resilence of Nigerians !!!

Sen Hope Uzodimma 

Governor, Imo State