Hope of a better year 2020 dominated messages sent by leaders to usher in the New Year and a new decade.
President Muhammadu Buhari, whose letter “at New Year Nigeria’s Decade,” is published in this newspaper as an advertorial, said: “it is a time of hope, optimism and fresh posibilities”.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, and Deputy House Speaker Ahmed Wase, sent messages of felicitation, predicting great prospects should Nigerian embrace one another and kept the tempo of resilience and faith.
Senate President Lawan predicted the New Year would usher in robust peace and economic growth for the benefit of all Nigerians.He lauded the resilience of Nigerians in their commitment to the unity and prosperity of the country and support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have no doubt in my mind that with the timely passage of the budget, restoration of the January to December financial year and other amendments recently made to our laws by the Ninth National Assembly, the economy will enjoy significant growth in the new year,” Lawan said in a statement by his spokesman, Ola Awoniyi.
Omo-Agege, stressed the need for citizens to build bridges of friendship across political, ethnic and religious lines.
He advised Nigerians to “recognize the beautiful and positive diversity of our nation, embrace the vital truth that our diversity is our strength.”
Omo-Agege said: “Let us devote our hearts and energies to those things, and they are many, that unite us, that hold us forth as the largest black nation of the world. We must explore, exploit and dwell on them, for our common good.
“As the Deputy President of the Senate, the peace and unity of this our great country is paramount and it is something I will always work hard to preserve in the strong belief that we are stronger together as one nation.”
Gbajabiamila and his deputy also urged Nigerians to unite against the challenges facing the nation, saying the resolve to remain together should remain unshakable.
In their separate messages, the presiding officers of the House of Representatives, also appealed to Nigerians to pray for the continued peaceful coexistence and progress of the nation in 2020 and beyond.
The Speaker, who said 2019 was remarkable in Nigeria’s history, expressed the belief that 2020 would be better for the citizens.
In the message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker noted that God had been faithful to Nigerians in the outgoing year.
He said: “This New Year, let’s unite more against our challenges. Let’s be our brother’s keepers as always. Our resolve to remain together as a people should be unshakeable. . Let this 2020 be a year of more prospects for the citizens.
“As an optimist, I have a strong belief that the year 2020 will be better for the country in all ramifications. Let’s not despair. Let’s keep hope alive, and God Almighty will see us through.”
Wase’s Chief Press Secretary, Umar Puma, said the nation needed to begin the year with prayers and supplications for the sustenance of the achievements made in 2019 and for the obvious good things expected in the New Year.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Lanre Issa Onilu, said government’s successes in plugging revenue leakages, checking violent extremism, anti-corruption, economic diversification and infrastructure development were profound testaments.
It said: “With our country’s landmark return to the January to December budget cycle – a feat achieved by the APC-led National Assembly and Executive after 16 years of the PDP(Peoples Democratic Party) failure, Nigerians are assured that the ongoing massive infrastructural development covering the rail, road, agriculture, aviation, port, education and health sectors would be given further filip.
“President Buhari government is vigorously tackling and solving the social, economic and security challenges our country faces one after the other. Government’s successes in plugging revenue leakages, checking violent extremism, oil sector reforms, anti-corruption, economic diversification, curbing waste, infrastructure development among other achievements are profound testament.
“We acknowledge and hold dear the trust and faith Nigerians have placed in the APC-led Federal Government. We will not let Nigerians down. We urge Nigerians to also play their part by cooperating with the government to achieve its development plans for our shared progress.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar enjoined Nigerians to stand together in 2020 with renewed vigour and determination to fight insecurity and poverty,
“This new year will require us all to stay together more than ever before to take on, head front, the common enemies of insecurity and poverty that challenge every Nigerian daily,’’ he said.
According to him, the challenges came with attendant outcome of more children being out of school and more families having hard time in accessing basic needs of life.
“These are the challenges that this new decade has thrown at us and we cannot afford to slumber and submit to defeat,’’ Atiku added.
He noted that the problems of extreme poverty and scant investments in education played huge roles in fueling the problems of violent extremism that Nigerians spent the past decade to contend with.
“We cannot win the fight against terrorism if we do nothing to reduce or eliminate poverty and illiteracy.
“The reality of this new decade requires of us to recalibrate our approaches and to pursue some tough choices; if failure is not an option, then we must let go of our egos and conveniences.
“In this new decade, we must start to do things differently if we are honest about our desire for a better and prosperous future.’’
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