Goodwill Message From His Excellency, The Governor Of Cross River State – Senator Prince Bassey E. Otu To The People Of The State On The Occasion Of The 63rd Independence Anniversary Of Nigeria, 1st October, 2023.
My dear compatriots, today we take a retrospective view of and celebrate the arrest, intimidation, incarceration and other forms of human indignity our heroes of conscience suffered in order to set Nigeria free from the shackles of colonialism.
The continuous reminiscence of who we were under Britain – our colonial masters and who we ought to be as an independent country, leaves much on our head to ponder and much on our hands to do in order to justify our independence.
Our independence therefore ought to be the celebration of our self-determination, independent thought and action. Every 1st October of a year is therefore a period for deep reflection on our individual patriotic contribution towards nation building, rather than an occasion for fanfare and media razzmatazz.
When the Nigeria Green-White-Green flag was being hoisted on 1st October, 1960 and the Britain Union Jack lowered, that was a symbolic elevation of the consciousness of Nigerians to take their destiny into their hands by way of patriotic zeal and action.
While we applaud the patriotic consciousness of the late Mike Enohoro for moving a motion for Nigeria independence in the British Parliament in 1953, we should realize the fact that the action was borne out of sheer sacrifice and patriotism. In this auspicious occasion of our 63rd independence anniversary, I urge everyone’s watchword to be “the country first”.
Our collective resolve and sacrifice we make as a people will make the country greater that what it was prior to 1st October, 1960. It is the only driving force towards a better Nigeria. For it is our sense of unity that will guarantee the indivisibility of our country, sense of ingenuity will give us technological breakthrough while our sense of patriotism will be an enabler of peace and security of our nation.
For every good action, it is first conceived in the mind as a thought before it is processed and translated into what we do physically. So, with patriotic mind set, the outcomes of our thought will make Nigeria greater.
Fellow Cross Riverians, we are not denying the fact that we live presently in a very hostile economic environment with our compatriots in other States of the Federation. The same or less degree of this unfriendly economic climate is also prevalent in other parts of the world. What is required of all is solidarity, patience, resilience and love to collectively get our economy out of the woods. With our individual ideas put together will ultimately bring success to our present suffering. Let us take a step of faith by believing that this is achievable, and follow up with concrete actions.
For the past sixty three years of our nation’s independence, we have been able to record some modest achievements in the political sphere. We have had twenty four years (still counting) of unbroken civilian democratic governance in the country. In the area of infrastructure and physical utilities, we have achieved much as well as stabilising our socio-cultural endowments. Our health care delivery system has improved, while food security is work in progress.
In order to consolidate on these gains, I enjoin all of us to bridge the fault lines of ethnicity, crime and criminality, hate and rancour. While the proverbial “good old days” are often relieved with nostalgic feelings, I make bold to state that there favourable conditions were created by the unreported sacrifices and goodwill made by certain individuals or the entire citizenry to create the “Eldorado” we crave. Accordingly, our sacrifice of today will eventually take us to the Nigeria we dream to have tomorrow.
I wish all of us a joyous 63rd independence celebration of our dear nativeland – Nigeria.
May God bless Cross River State!
May His face shine upon Nigeria!
Sen. Prince Bassey E. Otu