The member Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Idris Garba (Jagaban Kontagora) earlier delivered a speech to his constituents to mark the Nigerian 62nd Independent Day celebration. Read the full speech below;
“My Fellow constituents, Nigerlies and Nigerians at large.
Today marks our 62 years of Independence as a nation. First and foremost, I would like to say congratulations to us all. Through thick and thin, we have built this country together. Through triumphs and trials, we have developed a Nigerian identity in our own way.
As we all know in truth, our nation Nigeria is still a work in progress and we are challenged everyday to keep building in spite of all the various obstacles that we face. Our strength has been in our diversity. If we look back over the years, we can say confidently that there is every reason to celebrate.
My beloved fellow constituents men and women let us all use this day to remind ourselves about our nation heritage. Today offers us an opportunity to reflect on our long journey to nationhood and the progress we have made so far. Whatever the challenges that we may face, we have every reason to be proud of our national accomplishments; we have every reason to remain proud and optimistic. Our collective national journey has witnessed great watersheds, thanks to our spirit of endurance, perseverance and sacrifice. Getting the rest of the job done with determination and courage is just a matter of time. We are Nigerians, a nation of talented people, endowed with resources, potentials, and Divine Grace.
In our journey to greatness as a constituency from a flourishing state and a great nation, we have built an economy that is robust and erected enduring infrastructure and institutions of democracy. Our social system is now more inclusive, open and compassionate. We are waging a steady battle against poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Our sense of community, solidarity and shared expectation is strong and capable of withstanding the present social, economic and political challenges that still confront us.
In saying this, I am reminded of the comments I always make in most social sgathering I attend. I declare now as I declared then: we have a duty as Nigerians and representatives of our constituency, whatever may be our differences or prejudices, to always put our constituents first.
Our politics should be an art of patriotic labour and selfless service to the community, particularly by the political elite who are placed in positions of great trust and responsibility. Politics has its own high moral principles which abhor distracting and divisive rhetoric. As men and women in leadership, we must continually focus on service, duty, responsibility, and the next generation. Those who are elected to govern at all levels must focus on improving the lives of our people, not selfish ambition.
My clarion call therefore, on this special day, is that we should begin to align our political utterances and conduct solely to the nobler passions that unite our people. Politicians do not make a nation; ordinary people who make up the society we live in do, as we all know our nation is made great by the big and small efforts of our regular citizens long with the men and women of our armed forces and security services who toil day and night so that you and I may live in a safe and secure nation.
It is the individual and collective heroism of these regular folks that has placed our nation on the path of greatness. Politics and politicians sometimes distract the people and create unnecessary tension.
But our independence celebration is about the same people, the people of Nigeria: their industry, sense of mission and purpose, and their patience and perseverance as we navigate historical turns in our march towards prosperity and self-sufficiency. Today, I salute the people of Nigeria.
My Compatriots, history has proven that nations take time to evolve. We should rejoice in our democracy because it enables us to be united by our differences, not destroyed by them. And, there is no more crucial time for us to be united than now.
I want to also use this medium on behalf of us all (my constituents and I) to commend our Armed Forces and security agencies for their dedication and bravery in the face of grave danger, and in the name of our collective liberty.
My fellow constituents and Nigerians, this is a time to pull together behind the national cause: the cause of our freedom, and our future. We must rekindle the spirit of Nigeria, to ensure that every democrat and every lover of peace in this great nation continues to live in a free, peaceful, and secure Nigeria.
On my part, I re-dedicate myself completely to the service of our beloved constituency. I was re-elected as your representative to continue the process of building a prosperous constituency where hopes, dreams and aspirations would be fulfilled. A place where we can all be proud to call our own. I am pleased to affirm that, no matter the challenges we face, we are on the right path to greatness. Our agenda in constituency representation and transformation, which is part of the overall vision of making our constituency stand out has been yielding a positive and encouraging results.
I have been consistently mindful of the weight of public expectation to find solutions to the challenges that confront us because the mandate we have is a free and sacred one. In all that I have done, I have been guided by this sacred obligation, to work hard for the good of Nigeria and to make life better for Nigerians. I want to assure everyone that Nigeria, under my leadership, will not fail.
We must continue to build on this by remaining a nation and a people committed to ideals, the noblest humanitarian values, and the rule of law.
My fellow constituents and Nigerians, throughout the past 62 years we all can testify that Nigeria has evolve on an epic scale. Our progress since independence has not always been smooth. This is, after all, our Fourth Republic; but despite all its flaws, it has lasted longer than all the previous three put together. That is progress and it proves that, our differences – real and imagined – notwithstanding, we are, in every sense, a united nation.
I want to thank all my fellow constituents who have stood by me for their continued support and advices. We will continue to do our best in rendering our tireles and selfless representation.
I recognize that it is not easy to keep believing in the possibilities of our greatness when our faith is constantly challenged. But let me assure you that, if we do not despair, we shall reap the reward of our labour in due season.
It is my prayer that, another 62 years from now, our children and grand-children will look back on our effort and be thankful that we kept the faith.
May God continue to bless our constituency, Niger state and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I wish you all a very happy 62nd Independence Celebration.
I thank you.”