By Tognaan Dada Bawa in Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong is asking Nigerians to rally together and defend the nation’s democracy from forces that seek to create instability and chaos by putting national interest above personal or group interests.
The Governor was speaking at an Inter-denominational Church Service on Sunday to mark the 2021 Democracy Day held at the Government House Chapel, Rayfield Jos.
Governor Lalong admitted that the democratic journey particularly since the return to civilian rule 22 years ago has not been easy, but there is hope that the nation will overcome its current challenges.
He said “this special day reminds us that it is an occasion we should cherish and also use to rebuild our confidence and patriotism in Nigeria. The task of building the nation is a collective one which all of us must partake in. There is no doubt that Nigeria is facing many challenges today ranging from insecurity, unemployment, poverty and unity. These are not problems that began yesterday but an accumulation of our journey to nationhood. We should never give up on our nation or make negative confessions about its destiny”.
Lalong further said that despite the seemingly overwhelming difficulties of today, Nigerians must rise to the occasion both as leaders and citizens to advance practicable solutions and play active roles in resolving the dark cloud of uncertainty. He said this was not the time to sit and throw blames at one another, but be focused on the task of building a stronger, united and virile Nigeria.
Guest preacher and Executive Secretary Christian Pilgrims Commission Rev. Yakubu Pam reading from Mathew 26:36-46, spoke on “Grace” where he said Nigeria will continue to experience divine protection and deliverance through its most difficult challenges.
He referred to the pain and trauma that Jesus faced on his way to the cross of calvary to redeem mankind from sin, saying such fear did not stop him from fulfilling his mission. Nigerians according to him should follow the example of Christ and not lose hope in the face of today’s difficulties.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Plateau State, Rev. Fr. Polycarb Lubo in a goodwill message said the 22 years of unbroken democracy has brought about many opportunities for popular participation and contribution to good governance over the years.
While appreciating Governor Lalong for working tirelessly for sustainable peace in Plateau State, he however asked for more efforts to address issues of poverty, inequality, insecurity and lack of employment which is making governance more challenging.
APC State Caretaker Committee Chairman Mr. Letep Dabang, representatives of the Judiciary, House of Assembly, Security Agencies, and Traditional Council all expressed hope that contrary to the fears expressed by many, Nigeria will turn around and fulfill its purpose.