The Federal Government on Wednesday declared Monday, October 3 as public holiday to mark the 62nd Independence anniversary.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, congratulated Nigerians on the celebration, assuring of government’s commitment to tackling the challenges facing the nation and bring smiles to the faces of Nigerians.
The minister said: “The world is going through dire economic and security challenges which have also affected our nation.
“However, I am assuring us all that the government will not abandon the people but will continue to confront all these challenges with all the might at its disposal until respite comes our way.”
Aregbesola talked of the potentials of the eminent position of Nigeria in the comity of nations and the greatness ahead “if we work hard as a people”.
According to the minister, “Our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as our unbounded human capital and the richness of our land, make Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world and Africa’s pride and beacon of hope.
“If we can rally ourselves together to harness our potentials, we shall be the greatest nation on earth.
“A country of over 200 million people whose natural talents, grit and passion glitter like the precious diamond that we are.
“Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in the academia, science and technology, business, innovation, music, entertainment, fashion or culture.”
He urged Nigerians to use the occasion to reflect on the challenges facing the nation and the role they can play in addressing them.
The minister declared: “Though our nation is going through challenges especially, on security, these challenges are temporary and do not define us.
“We are defined by the greatness of the Nigerian people in our diversity, strength, ingenuity, and resilience.
“We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the Most High for the stormy waters we have waded through.
“As well as the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today.”
He enjoined Nigerians to join hands with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in its quest to ensure a better Nigeria for all citizens, both at home and abroad.