Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has said that Nigerians have every reason to celebrate country as she marks 60 years of political Independence.
Masari also called on the people to show more commitment and pray for peace to prevail in the nation.
He also called for more support for President Muhammadu Buhari, to enable him succeed in repositioning the country towards the path of sustainable development.
He said the president needed the peoples’ sustained commitment and prayers to enable him successfully steer the nation through the numerous challenges confronting, and even threatening its corporate existence.
In a goodwill message to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, the governor noted that the country has come a long way in terms of infrastructural development.
The governor said: “We should be optimistic enough and view the nation’s developmental cup as half full, given the numerous false starts it has to contend with in the past sixty years of nationhood.
“We should also show more commitment and be prayerful to Nigeria.
“Most of the false starts are the product of the fault lines that have defined the history of Nigeria as a single entity.
“For many in the leadership hierarchy and the led, considerations other than national interest take prime place in their heart, placing Nigeria a distant second or even third.
“Regional, religious and ethnic considerations have retarded Nigeria’s development as a nation.
“The advanced nations reached where they are today because their citizens have rallied in support of national interest, rather than some divisive considerations.
“If we want to see Nigeria up in that league, we would do well to always put her first in our positive actions, inactions, utterances and thoughts.
“Let me at the risk of sounding prideful, that we in Katsina claim the bragging right for the enviable role the state has played and still plays in the political development of Nigeria.
“Katsina more than any other state, has played a key role in this journey, having produced many of the First Republic leaders of Northern extraction, most of whom were either indigenes of, or schooled in Katsina at famous Katsina Teachers Training College, the first post primary school in the region.
“The likes of the First and only Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first and only Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, the first Minister of Defence, Sir Nuhu Rubadu, the first Minister of Lagos Affairs, Alhaji Musa Yar’adua and a host of other Nigerians too numerous to mention.
“At no time in the political development of Nigeria are citizens of Katsina State not found in prominent roles in significant numbers from Independence to date.
“Katsina is the only state to produce one Head of State and three Presidents.
“General Muhammadu Buhari was Head of State, and now second democratically elected President in his second term, coming after President Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua of blessed memory.
“In between, Katsina has produced Heads and Deputy Heads of several commanding institutions in the country like the Judiciary, the Military, the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services and many other Security and Para Military organizations.
“Indeed, we in Katsina have every reason to celebrate Nigeria at 60 and pray for its continued success as one indivisible entity that sooner than later, will be up there among the top in the comity of nations”.