Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo has urged Nigerians to persevere, saying, “Nigeria will rise to become one of the strongest nations in the world.”
Mr Uzodimma said this in an Independence Day anniversary message to Nigerians on Sunday at the Adm. Ndubuisi Kanu Square, Owerri.
He called on Nigerians to persevere, strive to love the country more, and make it work for everyone.
The governor said the least Nigerians could do was to invest their faith in the country and pray fervently for its progress.
He said: “As we celebrate this year’s independence anniversary, we should renew faith in Nigeria.
“I see in the nearest future a new Nigeria that is the bastion of democracy where the expectations of the majority will be met, where justice and equity shall reign and where sustainable development shall be taken for granted.”
He called on residents of Imo to remain peaceful and shun violence before, during and after the November 11 governorship election.
“Working with you and for you, in the past three-and-a-half years, you will agree that this administration has renewed the face of the state, economically and infrastructure wise.
“I pledge to do more in the years ahead,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Uzodimma read the second lesson from Ephesians 2:13-22 during the church service at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Church, Owerri, to mark the celebration.
The governor, who urged the congregation to have faith in God about Nigeria, said, “persevere; we are almost there.”
“Seek God’s face, seek repentance, seek reconciliation and forgiveness, and collectively defend our destiny. Lamentations, propaganda, blackmail won’t help us as a nation,” he said.
The high point of the ceremony was the march past by security agencies, paramilitary agencies, students, and members of the National Youth Service Corps, among others.
There was also the cutting of the Independence Day cake by the governor, assisted by other dignitaries, and the symbolic release of the pigeons.