*Seeks viability of all states of the federation
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, at the weekend emphasised the need for Nigeria to remain united, saying there was more to gain in being together as one nation than dissolving as different independent entities.
Speaking at a special thanksgiving service to commemorate Nigeria’s 57th Independence Anniversary held at Lagos House Chapel in Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said it was important for Nigerians to realise the fact that the country’s diversity is a strength in itself which makes the country a truly special place.
He said a moment of reflection and retrospection would reveal the need for Nigerians to be thankful to God for His grace, blessings and mercy over the country.
According to the Governor, “That we still have a country we can call Nigeria today is a proof of the divine hands of God in our being together as one.
“We must therefore reflect on our journey so far and come to the inevitable realisation that we have much more to gain as one nation than as different independent entities.
“Our diversity is a strength in itself and what makes our country a truly special place. We are a nation blessed by God. We have been blessed with enormous natural, human and material resources,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor, who recalled the terrible natural disasters that had happened in different parts of the world in recent times, said the fact that Nigeria had been preserved from such adversities confirmed that the country is favoured by God and that as Nigerians thank the Almighty for what he has done, more blessings would come upon the country.
While noting the prosperity and growth that Lagos had witnessed, the Governor said it was a thing of concern that most of the States of the federation were struggling to survive, saying it was in the interest of the country for all the States to be viable.
He said: “To the glory of God, our State, Lagos is blessed and its future is brighter than we can imagine. We cannot however be satisfied and happy in a situation where many other States are far behind and are struggling to survive.
“It is in our interest that the wind of prosperity blows across the length and breadth of our nation and the prosperity that we have in Lagos spillover to other States.
“As we celebrate independence, we have seen what Lagos is right now and it can only get better. I just want to appeal that the people should be patient with the country Nigeria.
“The same thing that is happening in Lagos will happen across the length and breath of Nigeria and that is what we are working towards. When my neighbours are good, I am better off; when other parts of the country are prosperous, I am better off,” Governor Ambode said.
In his sermon, Provincial Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in charge of Province 36, Pastor Tunde Netufo commended Governor Ambode for his various initiatives at reducing traffic congestion and incidences of traffic robberies, among others, saying the State was being governed rightly.
Speaking on the theme: “God’s greatness in our land,” Pastor Netufo urged Nigerians to hearken to God and make it a priority to love like never before and eschew bitterness, corruption and every form of evil.
He said: “For God’s greatness to manifest in the land, the people must be committed and faithful both to God and civic responsibilities and they must eschew corruption and social vices.
“The people must partner with government to bring our desires to past. For instance, people must pay their taxes and embrace hardwork,” Pastor Netufo said.