Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised Nigerians to remain steadfast in patriotism as the country faces numerous challenges.
In a statement on Saturday to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, Jonathan urged Nigerians to reflect on the promises of freedom, hope, peace, and unity that come with independence.
He stated the country has made significant impacts on the global stage in sports, arts, music, and academia since gaining independence 62 years ago.
The statement reads: “Fellow compatriots, today, we mark another anniversary of our independence from the grip of colonialism.
“We reflect on the promises of freedom, hope, peace, and unity that come with independence.
“Sixty-two years into this journey, we have every cause to reflect on the experience of our nationhood, the prospect of our greatness and how to surmount the challenges that limit our progress as a nation.
“As a country, we have made significant impacts on the global stage in sports, arts, music, and academia. Our citizens have asserted themselves as people with strength, courage, and honour in different spheres.
“We have remained steadfast in patriotism in challenging times of our nationhood, demonstrated faith in moments of doubt, displayed resilience in times of adversity and pursued peace when our unity was threatened.”
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the former President also advised the citizens to promote unity and tolerance to foster national development and urged political parties to prioritise peace and unity in their campaigns.
He stated that the forthcoming polls represent a unique opportunity for Nigerians to make informed choices and elect a competent leader.
“Fellow Nigerians, our anniversary this year comes at a time our nation is preparing for general elections. It is a critical moment for us all. The elections provide another opportunity for our citizens to demonstrate our faith in the greatness of our nation. Let us be patriotic in the choices we make.
“Let us prioritise the unity and peace of our country in our campaigns, and through the choices, we make at the polls next year.
“Ours is a great nation with boundless possibilities. Let us work in unity, live in peace, promote justice, and accommodate each other. That way, we shall build an inclusive and cohesive society where everyone is happy, safe, and proud of his country,” he added.