National Coordinator of I-Nigerian Initiative, Ms. Ada Stella Apiafi, has charged Nigerians on the need to observe the principle of peaceful co-existence and to eschew Violence as the country marks the 54th independence anniversary.
Speaking on the Independence anniversary in Abuja, Apiafi said “the strength of Nigeria has always been in our ability as a people, to work through the diversity in our culture, languages, religious inclinations, ethnicity and even status in the society”.
In a six point message to Nigerians, the National Coordinator of the non-governmental organisation working “to re-awaken the pride in being Nigerian through a process and series of programmes to re-awaken our thinking about our Nigerianness” said the anniversary was historic and commendable in itself because it came within the centenary year of amalgamation.
“No doubt, we have faced various challenges and anxious moments since we were brought together as a people, despite all these, we are still here as a people, under one umbrella: Nigeria and bearing one name: Nigerians. Let us continue to work together to remain as one entity and one people”, she admonished.
Ms. Apiafi also spoke about the 2015 general elections, urging Nigerians to work towards a peaceful, free and fair elections at all levels.
“We the electorate must also guard our votes with every sense of purpose and use them widely and sincerely to make a positive change in our nation. We also charge everyone particularly those seeking for public office or appointment to uphold national interest in all our campaigning, elections and subsequent assumption of office”.
She equally wanted Nigerians to resist negative labelling of the country because Nigerians themselves were responsible for the way outsiders perceive them
The lady who lived abroad for many years before deciding to return and help build the country appealed for universal support for troops battling terrorism and insurgency in parts of the country.
“We must continue to recognise the sacrifices made by our armed forces just to keep our boarders safe. Some have in fact paid the supreme sacrifice, leaving a lot of young families in deep mourning today. Let us never forget to pray for these heroes who put their lives on the line on our behalf daily”, she stated.
The sixth message was for Nigerians to avoid any form of violence by developing a genuine love for peace in the nation, in the home, in daily living and across all the nation.
While expressing confidence that Nigeria will work and discover her destiny, Apiafi warned however, that Nigerians must not close their eyes to the challenges that confront the people but “we can choose to seize this period as an opportunity to collectively rise up to our challenges and collectively pursue the things that will reawaken our belief in ourselves as a people”.