The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry has congratulated Nigeria on its 56th Independence Anniversary which comes up October 1.
Kerry expressed confidence that Nigerians are working hard to address current national challenges.
He sent the message on behalf of President Barack Obama and the American people.
Below is the full text of Kerry’s statement:
“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the citizens of Nigeria as you celebrate your Independence Day on October 1.
I recently returned from my third trip to Nigeria as Secretary, and I came away with a strong sense of the nation’s resolve to build a better future.
During my trip, I was reminded that many Nigerians are engaged in bringing people together across the divides of culture, religious practices, and ethnicity.
There is still much work to be done to provide economic opportunities for all, end corruption, win the fight against Boko Haram, ensure broad respect for human rights and provide humanitarian relief for millions of displaced people. But we know that Nigerians are hard at work to address these challenges.
The United States looks forward to deepening our partnership and friendship with Nigerians from all walks of life, so that we may work together for the betterment of Nigeria and all of Africa.
Best wishes to all of you on this the 56th anniversary of your independence.”
In a related development, a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma (PDP-Edo), has urged Nigerians to reflect on the achievements of the past 56 years and remain as one nation.
Agbonayinma made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
He said that with the achievements recorded so far, those calling for the breaking of the country did not mean well.
He noted that efforts were being made by the present administration to diversify the financial base of the country from a mono-economy that solely depended on oil to an economy that would produce enough to even export.
According to him, Nigerians must give thanks to God for keeping the country together as a nation and one family.
“Those who are calling for the separation of the country don’t mean well for this nation.
“Our past heroes fought tirelessly for the unity of this nation, they did not fight for their own selfish interest.
“I believe that something good can come out of this nation, but I want to say this that we are our own worst enemies.
“God has blessed us with so much resources in terms of natural and human resources.
“We have many Nigerians doing excellently well in other parts of the world, there is no country you travel to that you will not see Nigerians doing well.
“There are agitations from different quarters about restructuring, but when you continue to do business the usual way without getting positive result; you need to think outside the box.