In his reaction, former Lagos State governor and national leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, said: “Three score years ago, our people determined to amend their political relationship with the world as well as the relationship among themselves.
“From the unfairness and limitations inherent in the colonial situation, we claimed our independence to establish our own way that we might be servile to none.
We asserted our independence that we may be the most populous, most powerful and most prosperous nation in Africa and in the process lead our continent and our race into a more just and equable condition.
“Thus we do not commemorate Independence Day as some empty ritual. It is not some excuse to begin the 10th month of the year with a holiday. Instead, it is an annual reminder and affirmation of the noble and excellent trek upon which we have embarked as a people.
“During these 60 years, we have passed important milestones and progressed in many ways. We have endured long nights that skeptics said would end us. In my own state of Lagos, we have transformed what many had written off as a dying city into a dynamic hub of commerce, openness and infrastructural development.
“Under the current APC administration, the nation is now building the institutional framework and infrastructural networks that will bring forth an era of beneficial growth and development for all Nigeria and all Nigerians, no matter your current station in life and without regard to your incidence or place of birth.
“We press onward, despite the unique difficulties and challenges posed this year by the global pandemic and its attendant economic difficulties. In fact, Nigeria should be proud of how it decisively managed this challenge.
“For, among the world’s most populous nations, we rank among the least affected by the scourge. This we owe primarily to the merciful hand of God and also to the sage actions of government and the civic responsibility of the people.
“Yet I would be less than honest if I did not state we have often stumbled and lost our way at times since we gained independence. Brother has fought against brother.
We spilled blood that ought not have been spilled. We have squandered opportunities. We have let our immense potentials lay idle and stagnant. “But not any more.
Those things are remnants of the past for which we now draw important lessons to guide us to a more optimistic and fecund tomorrow. The sixty years Nigeria has stood as an independent land may seem long in the life of a man, but in the life of a nation, it has been but a single breath.
“Wisdom instructs us to love our nation for it is truly an unfortunate son who hates his own home and family.
However, wise and enlightened it may be to love Nigeria as a nation that is still insufficient, it only gets us halfway to where we need to go.
“I would be selling you falsehood if I were to promise that our daily path would be lined with rose petals and sweet fragrance.
I would be selling you false hope if I were to say nothing but gentle days and tranquil nights await us.
“However. I tender this sound and fundamental truth. This beloved nation now faces the right direction. We move closer to the reality of a greater nation based on a more just and compassionate society.”