Nigeria At 50: We’re Ready To Deliver Nigeria —Sambo

Vice President Namadi Sambo (m), Gov Babatunde Fashola during the commissioning of Independence Tower at Tafawa Balewa, Lagos, at the weekend.

•Vice President Namadi Sambo (m), Gov Babatunde Fashola during the commissioning of Independence Tower at Tafawa Balewa, Lagos, at the weekend.

Ahead of Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary, the Vice President, Architect Namadi  Sambo, Sunday in Lagos said with the nationalist moves of President Goodluck Jonathan,  and the monumental achievements being recorded in Lagos, Nigeria’s future is assured.

•Vice President Namadi Sambo (m), Gov Babatunde Fashola during the commissioning of Independence Tower at Tafawa Balewa, Lagos, at the weekend.

Vice President Sambo who spoke at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos while commissioning the  Independence Tower built in honour of the Founding Fathers of Independent Nigeria, said  with what is happening in Lagos and the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan towards  the upliftment of the nation, Nigerians should look forward to a brighter future.

Urging Nigerians not to give up on the country, Sambo declared, “From the demonstrations  we see in Lagos and the commitment of the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, there  is hope for Nigeria”, adding that it showed that the youth were prepared to give  responsible leadership to the country.

“Although we are not yet there, I want to assure all Nigerians that we shall make all the  necessary efforts to put Nigeria back on the path of honour as laid by our great  leaders”, the Vice President said.

He paid glowing tributes to the Founding fathers –Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi  Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as well as others for  their great contributions and sacrifice to deliver an Independent Nigeria to succeeding  generations.

“I am greatly delighted to stand on this great historic spot where the Union Jack was  lowered 50 years ago and the Nigerian Green White Green Flag of Independence was first  hoisted”, Sambo said, pointing out that the names and images engraved on the 18 metre  tower were by no means exhaustive of all those who fought for Nigeria’s Independence.

The Vice President thanked the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for  the role he played in seeing to the completion of the project “in record time”, noting  that the tower was actually constructed in 26 days.

“This is a demonstration of the harmonious inter-governmental relationship existing  between the State and the Federal Government,” he said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Governor Fashola expressed confidence in the future of  Nigeria pointing out that at 50, the country was now in a better position to take its  proper place in the comity of nations.

He said the commissioning of the Independence Tower in Lagos which, according to him,  signals the beginning of the celebration of the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary,  was only fit and proper because the history of Independent Nigeria started in Lagos.

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Describing Lagos as “the Source”, Governor Fashola declared, “We are gathered here to  begin our celebration of 50 years of Nigeria’s Independence. It is only fit and proper  that it starts from here because the Union Jack was lowered here 50 years ago to declare  Nigeria’s freedom”.

“We are being united with history today because what we are doing today is to commemorate  the ceremonies that ushered in our freedom. This monument (Independence Tower) contains  those who made us free. It is true that they worked very hard to hand over to us a free  and fair country”, the Governor said, adding, “As we start the celebrations from here, I  have the hope that Nigeria’s future is greater”.

The Vice President had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Oba of Lagos, His Royal  Majesty, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu 1, where he promised that he would review the issues  concerning the properties belonging to the State which are still in the hands of the  Federal Government and its agencies.

The Vice President, who was responding to Oba Akiolu’s welcome address, said the present  administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan, “does not discriminate against any  Nigerian” adding, “We have sworn to be fair and just to all Nigerians”.

He requested that all the issues raised by the Monarch should be documented and sent to  him, promising that he would personally handle all the issues and ensure that they are  resolved once and for all.

He told the Oba, “I am here in Lagos to kick-start one of the items of the celebration of  our 50th Independence. I have come to obtain your blessing and to show appreciation for  your continued contribution to the development of Lagos State and Nigeria. Allah will  uphold you so that you will continue to assist in the development of our country”.

In his welcome address, Oba Akiolu 1, had raised the issue of land and other properties  belonging to Lagos State but which are yet to be released to it by the Federal  Government. Such lands and properties include, the Obalende Central Mosque in Dodan  Barracks, the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and the  Federal Secretariat among others.

Oba Akiolu appealed to the Vice President to impress it on the President Jonathan to  redress the issue which, according to him, has been very disturbing to the people of  Lagos State adding that the people have chosen the part of peace believing that justice  would prevail.

Present at the commissioning ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the  Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed and some members of the Federal Executive Council, the  Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Sosan, the Secretary to the Lagos State  Government, Princess Adenrele Adeniran Ogunsanya, members of the State Executive Council  and other top government functionaries.

In attendance at the Palace of the Oba of Lagos were Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Senator  H.A.B. Fashinro, other traditional rulers, some members of the Federal and State  Executive Councils and other top Government functionaries.