MY FELLOW ABIANS, DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
I am pleased to address you today, as we gather here to celebrate the 51st Anniversary of our Countryís Independence, which is an annual ritual of remembrance. Just last year, and at this same date, we gathered to celebrate the epic 50th Golden Jubilee of our Independence and self rule, which gave us the opportunity to exhaustively assess the Nationís journey, so far.
The verdict in our Golden Jubilee assessment, was that our Nation has come a long way, and weathered through many storms to ensure the meeting of our peopleís aspirations and expectations from nationhood.
We may not be exactly where our citizens expect the Nation to be, and we have not satisfied the many economic needs of the people, but our leaders have worked hard to preserve the unity and oneness of this Nation, and give us hope that Nigeria will prevail, despite all odds. It beholds on all our citizens to continue to support the unity of this country, for the many values that this offers to all of us.
Today, the 51st Anniversary of our Nationís Independence is coming, five months after our Nation was able to conduct, for the first time, a credible and fair election to strengthen our nascent democracy.
This Election brought forth, the Administrations of President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal Level, and my humble self, Chief T.A.Orji (Ochendo), as Governor of Abia State.
Our Administration, believes, and shares in the transformational agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, and in his promise to lead the country and move the Nation forward, by doing things differently. He has commenced the laying of the appropriate foundations, and developing the institutions, that will support all efforts to make Nigeria work better, and fulfill the aspiration of our people from being an independent Nation.
The issues that are important to President Goodluck Jonathan in his transformational agenda include the resuscitation of Nigeriaís ailing economy, and the creation of new jobs for our people, especially the youths.
He is committed to solving the Nationís power problem, to providing un-interrupted 24 hours daily supply of electricity to our homes and the powering of our large and small-scale industries, to further create jobs and encourage entrepreneurship.
He is committed to tackling the nationís growing insecurity and new acts of terrorism, and restoring peace and stability in the Nation. He is serious in bringing new focus in the fight against corruption, waste, and in developing the nations infrastructures, especially the roads, ports, waterways, the railroads, etc.
As we ruminate about our Nation and celebrate our precious 51st Independence anniversary, our President has given us the indication and hope that the future will be great. I therefore urge all Abians and other Nigerians, to rise up and support the Presidentís transformational agenda and new policies for our Nation.
As we move ahead to doing things differently and better, our people should learn to participate fully and develop an ownership mentality in the Nationís affairs.
We should nevertheless, learn to endure the inevitable pains of change and development of new ideas, which is in the larger benefit of our people. This is the only way we can all help move the Nation forward, so that, as we approach the next anniversary of our Independence in 2012, our transformed Nation, will be sharing the benefits of stronger institutions and infrastructures that accelerate the Nationís development in all sectors.
Our Nation demands the full support of all our abundant human capitals, both at home and in Diaspora, so that Nigeria will not only transcend the curse brought on us by oil resources, but be better placed to develop a modern economy, that is supported through efficient resource management, agricultural revival and other sectored inputs
To achieve the great future of our dreams, all of us must resist the growing resort to conflict and violence in resolving issues in our country, and be ready agents to assist the Nation in checking corruption, religious violence, developing acts of terrorism, and the politics of intrigues and divide and rule, that continue to weigh down on our Nation and fritter away valuable resources.
If our citizens are to fully support the Presidentís transformational initiatives, and with its temporary inconveniences (which is by all means, a no easy task), we must all be willing to submit ourselves to the change process, beginning from our characters and attitudes to public issues, to change in our institutions of the family and community, and change in our perception of Government.
We should see the need to embrace reform in all our processes and policy outputs, and adopt the best practices that produce equity and justice in the distribution of resources throughout our Nation.
It is only when our Nation is at peace, secured, and with a balanced global reputation, that we will all realize the full potentials of our people and our Nation as a great giant of Africa. President Jonathan and the Nation, needs every citizenís support and prayers to achieve this total transformation of our country, for the benefits of all of us.
President Jonathan and our Government of Abia are joined in the need to make a difference in the lives of our citizens, but we acknowledge that the problems are enormous, though not beyond resolution. That is why we have both focused our attentions in laying the foundation for a sustainable economic infrastructures and institutions, to ensure continuity and consistency in our future developments.
Our thinking is that, with the right institutions in place, our country and our State will begin to achieve maximum – incremental, but visible progress, for the benefits of our new generations, – even before the quantum leap emerges.
As we celebrate today, I join President Goodluck Jonathan, in appealing to Abians and other Nigerians, to continue to support our Governments, because, we both mean well for our citizens, and will support this with the good policies we make. Our citizens should never lose hope in the genius of our people, and in the framework of laws that support our democratic constitution.
We should always remember the challenges our founding fathers of this Nation faced, and surmounted, in keeping the Nation independent and united. Our challenge to day is to be a part of the change agent, in taking this struggle to the next and better level.
For me, I have absolute faith and confidence in the capacity of Nigerians and our Leaders to promote equitable values and new ideas that will enrich our people, so that future independence anniversaries will become true celebrations of the many valuable acts, achieved by our Governments. That can be said to have elevated our national lives, and addressed the quality of the economic, social, and political and security concerns of our citizens.
Once again, I will conclude this address, by calling on Abians to remain hopeful, and to support our Government and Mr President, in his transformational initiatives. Together, we will join hands to overcome all challenges, and make Nigeria a truly great country, and Abia State, a success story.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
God bless the Good People of Abia State!
T A Orji