Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has committed to violence-free 2023 elections while urging all to avoid playing politics of division.
According to the statement he personally signed to mark Nigeria’s independence anniversary, Tinubu recognized the difficulty nations pass through and was enthused that Nigeria’s case is not different.
While noting that it’s a complex time, Tinubu said,
“The path we walk has not always been an easy or smooth one, but we walk it nonetheless because it is the road hewn by our own hands, ingenuity, and aspirations.
“In this complex time, it is easy to forget the struggles of those who came before us. Those Nigerian founders and nationalists who devoted themselves to making the dream of an independent and proud Nigeria a reality. But we must not forget.
“We commemorate this day so that our nation shall forever hold in remembrance those who won our nation’s independence.”
“There is no way we can repay them for their patriotism except to remember them and strive to match their love of country and their sacrifice for it.
“Some gave not only their best years but their very lives so that Nigeria can be born. Their labor shall never be in vain!
“Indeed, we have come a long way from 1960 when we gained independence. We have walked far since then. Still, the best of our national journey lies before and not behind us. Since 1999, our country has experienced 23 years of uninterrupted democracy.
“While we have firmly established democracy as our way of governance, we still have work to do in perfecting our form of governance such that the government will always and completely be for, of, by, and because of the people.
“That our people live in the dignity afforded by prosperity, justice, freedom and an unyielding belief in our capacity to overcome any obstacle was what compelled our founders to strive for the independence we now enjoy,” he stated.
He added that this anniversary of Nigeria’s independence offers the people the opportunity to take stock of how far the country has fared as a nation and how far the country must go to achieve a better nation.
He appealed to Nigerians to commit themselves to Nigeria’s unity as well as to collective improvement, noting that in unity, Nigerians must see each other as brothers and sisters regardless of their ethnic, religious, or regional diversity.
“In seeking national improvement, we must join hands in growing the economy, creating jobs, feeding the hungry, educating our youth, caring for the sick, and protecting our people and their way of life from evil and misguided foes who seek to destroy all that is good.
“Today, let us thank President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration for their patriotic efforts in the service of the nation.
“We give utmost thanks to the committed service of the brave members of our armed forces, security and law enforcement agencies some of whom have given their very lives in defense of our freedom against terrorism and violent extremism.
“We thank all who have dedicated their lives to public service and to the belief that this nation can be made great.
“We thank each and every law-abiding citizen of our great nation who dedicate their lives in the hope that Nigeria will be better and more united.
“Today, I speak not of politics but patriotism. The time for politics will come soon enough. But the time for and demand for patriotism never fades,” he said.
He prayed that “May we all seek the best for Nigeria regardless of partisan affiliation and may we never undermine the national purpose in pursuit of narrow gain.
“As the nation heads toward the coming election, may we all eschew violence and recourse to divisive, incendiary politics that pull against the fabric of national unity and concord.
“My running mate, party, and I stand committed to a prosperous, violence-free, and democracy-filled Nigeria. I ask you all to do the same.
“Only by doing so, shall we honor the sacrifices and devotion of our nation’s founders. In this way, we bring a dependable promise of renewed hope to our quest for national greatness”.