As Nigeria marks its 61st independence anniversary, the nation’s youths have been urged to shun agents of destruction who are bent on using them to cause trouble within the polity.
The Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) while making the call also noted what it termed as “the resilience and commitment to the ideal of our forefathers” is what has kept the nation great even at 61 despite mounting challenges.
The National Coordinator of YAF, Adeshina Animashaun, in a statement Thursday in Abuja, however urged Nigerians not to be used by selfish politicians to destroy this great idea.
According to him: ” It is against this backdrop that YAF appeals to teeming Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used by some aggrieved Nigerians and failed politicians to foment trouble, especially on such a red-letter day our dear country will be celebrating our cherished freedom from colonial rule.
“YAF is aware of plans by some aggrieved groups and individuals to violate the laws of the country on October 1, 2021, and from Monday, October 4, 2021, by carrying out illegal and unwarranted protests and so-called sit-at-home against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for whatever reasons best known to them and their sponsors.
“We want to warn that such protests are likely to result in violence and wanton destruction of lives and property, which our nation can ill-afford at a period all Nigerian citizens should be joyous and celebrating”, he said.
Animashaun also advised the youth to seek the right and appropriate channels of airing their grievances instead of playing into the hands of chaotic merchants.
“At this juncture, YAF, therefore, wants to appeal to aggrieved persons and groups to sheathe their swords and in the interest of Nigeria’s peace and unity, eschew agitations to dismember the country. We should all remember that decapitation is never the remedy for headaches.
“It’s time for all Nigerians to embrace peace, join hands with fellow citizens to work for lasting peace and desired progress. Let’s, therefore, rather use tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations to reflect on how to move our country forward and to greater heights. Let’s not make ourselves willing tools for the few aggrieved persons and groups who do not wish Nigeria well.
“Peace and righteousness do a great deal of good to any group of people and nations, and this YAF believes should continue to bind the conscience of every Nigerian, especially as the country clocks 61 tomorrow.
“We should, therefore, not give any room to unpatriotic persons to destroy the good legacies and country bequeathed to us by Nigeria’s founding fathers. We must strive to be among those superior characters to hold the balance of power to keep our great nation up to a high standard of civilization. Second-rate men and women must be effectively checked and kept at bay to save our dear fatherland from avoidable collapse.
“It is, therefore, important to once again reminding us all here that our country can only be great again if we all reorient ourselves and reason together as Nigerians and not as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba; not as Northerners or Southerners, Muslims or Christians”, he added.
He stressed that for them in YAF, as a group of patriotic citizens, they will never waiver in their consistent pursuit of a peaceful and united Nigeria. He however commended the international community f0or the consistent support for the unity and peaceful atmosphere in Nigeria despite challenges confronting it.
He said: ” We also seize this opportunity to commend the international community for their consistent support for the unity and progress of our dear nation. In spite of the daunting challenges confronting Nigeria, they have remained on the side of her continued corporate existence under a peaceful atmosphere.
“As patriotic citizens, YAF, therefore, appeals to the international community to continue to give Nigeria all the necessary assistance to enable her to surmount the various challenges. We appeal for continued technical and material assistance to the nation’s security agencies so that the country will continue to record success in its crusade against terrorists and insurgents.
“However, this year’s Independence Day celebration is of more significance because the country is celebrating a milestone in its journey to nationhood. Nigeria is 61! This time last year, it was the eve of our Diamond anniversary celebrations! YAF congratulates all the citizens of our dear country.
“As Nigerians, we should all observe this special national day with gratitude and pride in our dear fatherland, knowing full well that this is a significant moment for our dear country. It’s, of course, an auspicious day and YAF salutes the Nigerian nation and her resilient people.
May the peace and prosperity of Nigeria never cease, and may we continue to rejoice in the blessings that God has bestowed on our dear fatherland. Amen!”, he noted.
He said further that: “As Nigerians, we should not just exhibit our pride in the Nigerian nation just on October 1 Independence Day alone. The feeling of being proud Nigerians should occupy our minds at all times.
“We should not expect to develop our pride in Nigeria after she must have attained greatness. Rather, we should have it at the back of our minds that Nigeria can only become great because of our individual and collective pride in her and her potentialities.
“Let’s continue to celebrate peace in our country by ensuring that the labors of all our past national heroes, who have given us the freedom we’ve been enjoying in Nigeria in the past 61 years, do not go in vain.
“As patriotic citizens, we must not take our independence for granted. Rather, we should at all times strive to play our role patriotically in order to make Nigeria a better place for ourselves and generations yet unborn.
” We must all remember that it’s only when our country progresses in everything under a peaceful atmosphere that the whole world, especially Africa and all black people in the Diaspora, will be proud of us. No nation progresses in a chaotic atmosphere and under insecurity imposed by few aggrieved citizens”, he stated.
He added that.”The first President of the United States of America, George Washington, says, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.
“Therefore, it is only when we work together peacefully as a people and a united nation that Nigeria can move forward and get to our desired destination.
”in the words of our own Fela Durotoye, “A nation is not defined by its borders or the boundaries of its landmass. Rather, a nation is defined by adverse people who have been unified by a cause and a value system and who are committed to a vision for the type of society they wish to live in and give to the future generations to come.
“Similarly, English humorist, satirist, and author of fantasy novels, Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE, says, “One person is nothing. Two people are a nation.”
According to Durotoye, “What we need now is a nation of great people who live to positively impact others and build enduring legacies. But we can only achieve this when we maintain and live in peace with one another at all times and in all parts of the country.
“The people of every nation collectively determine their own destiny, but the clever the people, the better the fate of their country. We as Nigerians hold the destiny of our dear fatherland in our hands and whatever we do with it determines our collective destiny”, he noted