Nothing to celebrate in Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, says Gov. Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that there is nothing for Nigerians to celebrate, as the country marks its 61st independence anniversary on Friday, October 1, 2021.

He said it was regrettable that 61 years after the nation’s independence, it was still grappling with leadership challenges that had entrench hatred, mediocrity, as well as promoted ethnicity and religious intolerance among citizens.

Wike also chided the National Assembly, which he said, had continued to approve anything the Presidency sent to the legislature not minding the consequences on Nigerians.

He also decried the judiciary for yielding to intimidation, as judges had abandoned their responsibility out of trepidation and wondered the fate of Nigerians under such hardship and tyrannical atmosphere.

The governor spoke yesterday at the Interdenominational Church Service organised to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Port Harcourt.

He pointed out that due to leadership failure, the country has been engulfed in insecurity to the extent that everyone now seeks God’s intervention, because man’s leadership had failed the country.

Wike noted that perhaps the only thing Nigerians could celebrate would be the existence of Nigeria, adding: “At 61, Nigeria is in disarray, full of enmity, divisions, hatred and ethnicity.

“At 61, Nigeria is far removed from being a country that can compete favourably with other countries of the world, given its abundant resources. We cannot do the right things. At a time when other countries are talking about transparent elections, we are talking about how to rig elections in 2023, as can be seen in the rejection of electronic transmission of results,” he stated.

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Describing the country’s legislature as ‘incapable of thinking’, Wike lampooned the Ninth National Assembly for its penchant for approving anything passed to it from the executive, insisting that the country would lose nothing by conducting free and fair elections. 

“The legislature approves anything brought to it from the presidency, especially on borrowing. The lawmakers can’t even ask questions about the money we are borrowing and where they are being applied.

“The judiciary and the courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear and because of the fear of being summoned at night, they don’t say anything, even when they see something wrong,” he added.

Wike also blamed the nation’s woes on Nigerians, who have refused to say and do the right things, but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated against them in all facets of national life.

In his sermon, Bishop of Niger Delta North Diocese, Reverend Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to their personal efforts and ingenuity.

Ihunwo said such people abound in Nigeria, because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain, delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds.

He lamented that it was baffling that despite having leadership in the country, killings, kidnappings and banditry had continued unabated to the extent that some military officers were killed without drastic measures to return Nigeria to the path of stability.

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