Ben Ayade

59 Independence anniversary: Hold firm to values that define us as Nigerians – Ayade

As the country marks its 59 independence anniversary, Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade, says the citizenry must remain resolute by re-committing and re-dedicating theirselves to the enduring values and vision that distinguish them as truly Nigerians.

Speaking at the ceremonial parade held at U J Esuene stadium in Calabar, the governor maintained that “it is only by such distinguishing attributes that we can achieve true independence as a people, one that will guarantee true freedom, good governance and total emancipation in the real sense of it.”

Ayade, represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, averred that “while our today is steadily finding perfect harmony with our great expectations as a people, with our rapid industrialization policy, we remain highly optimistic that given our great energy and potentials to flourish, we will and surely weave our determination to precision and berth a better tomorrow.”

On the state of the nation at 59, Ayade said: “We cannot say with absolute conviction, that 59 years down the line, it has been a bed of roses. At best, it has been a potpourri. At times chequered, disappointing, hard and fraught with challenges that so often dulled our spirits,” reasoning that “in spite of those dispirited moments, there has have, however, been sparkling times that we have radiated so much national pride as a people, following our chain of accomplishments as a nation. And against all odds, we have continued to bounce back, to rediscover ourselves by staying focused, steadfast and optimistic.”

While urging the people of the state to continue to soldier on with audacity of hope, a refreshing optimism and the spirit of enterprise, Ayade reassured that, “with our minds firmly fixed on the ever-glittering skyline, we shall sure chart a pathway to our destination.”

The governor added that “as we advance closer and closer to attaining that tomorrow of our dreams, we need not only align, but must pull together, to shrug off tendencies and avoid strictures that accentuate our fault lines,” while intimating that “as an administration, we came with a clear focus to restructure and recalibrate the economy of our state.”

To this end, Ayade noted: “we have been able to create a new economy that is anchored on industrialization with a huge potential to create jobs and lift our people out of the woods,” even as he implored Cross Riverians to “continue to bond together so that we can boldly confront the future with a renewed confidence and determination.”

He assured that his administration willl not relent until it ensures that every Cross Riverian is indeed rescued and clawed back from the socio-economic quagmire that has held him or them captive to hunger and lack.

Ayade further enjoined the people of the state to “render our supplications to God for His grace and enablement to overcome the challenges of today and actualize our dreams of tomorrow for the attainment of true independence.”

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