Independence: EU, UK reiterate support for Nigeria’s democracy

The European Union and the British High Commission in Nigeria have reiterated their commitment support for Nigeria’s democracy as the nation turned 62 years after independence .

President Muhammadu Buhari  in New York.

They envoys made the commitment on Saturday at Nigeria’s 62 independence anniversary celebration in Abuja.

Ms Samuela Isopi, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and the ECOWAS said Nigeria is a work in progress just like any country in the world.

“No country is where they want to be, it is always a work in progress for every country and I think Nigeria has really made a huge progress, especially if you think about democracy.

“Think about all the progress that has been made since the return to the civilian rule, so I really think that Nigeria is a country with a huge potential.

“We really hope that you will continue to develop that potential in the future and the European Union as a partner will continue to support Nigeria especially Nigerian youths in helping them to realise their potential.’’

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catrina Laing, said Nigeria at 62 years after independence calls for reflection of the bond between UK and Nigeria.

“It is wonderful event and 62 years for Nigeria post-independence particularly poignant year because obviously we have had the recent death of Her Majesty the Queen.

“We have all reflected back on the very strong bonds between the UK and Nigeria which go back to pre-independence.

“The Queen visited in 1957 before independence so looking ahead, we have the elections coming up and the world’s eyes will be on Nigeria.

“The democratic journey Nigeria continues on and we congratulate Nigeria on that and we look forward to a more prosperous more secure future.

“There is always things we would like to see Nigeria do better, but there has been progress and I think one really important progress is democracy since 1999, stuck with it in a region that is very unstable.

“Nobody questions the president stepping down, everyone sees that Nigeria’s elections have continued to improve, there’s always room for improvement, but I think the Democratic journey is one great achievements for Nigeria.’’

Meanwhile other Nigerians called for the need to for citizens to be hopeful and unite to overcome the numerous challenges facing the country.

Mr Mohammed Jammal , also Known as “White Nigerian’’ said there were many things to be hopeful for as Nigeria celebrates 62 years independence .

Jammal said the fact that the nation was once under another country and was also under military rule but was now free and practicing democracy was a big achievement.

According to him, Nigeria is blessed with mineral resources, good people, good food, agriculture among others .

“So I think by the time we get to where we are going to, this will be one of the best countries in the world.

“Insecurity is something that we are fighting for now and I think by the time the Nigerian government keeps putting their foot down and fight banditry, kidnapping and all the insecurity that is going on in this country, that is the first step to move this country forward.

“Once you fight insecurity then you can now focus on education because with the insecurity now a lot of children cannot go to school and by the time you are not in school all those kids will now be doing things they are not supposed to be doing .

“So insecurity plays a big role with the moving forward of this country, and I pray that our armed forces continue to fight to protect this country and to end the insecurity.

“At the same time, I think they are doing their best and will continue to pray that federal government pushes more resources to the military to continue fighting.’’

Deputy Commandant Odumosu Olusola, Director of Public Relations, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) National Headquarters Abuja, congratulated Nigerians for making it this far adding that very soon insecurity would become a thing of the past.

“First and foremost, I will like to congratulate Nigerians for this achievement, 62 years of independence is no joke,so for us as a people to have come this far is a grace that one should celebrate.

“ I want to appreciate what Mr President is doing and what all security agencies are doing,of course, we have security challenges, but for us as a people and for us in the security circle, it is not insurmountable .

“Security agencies are working assiduously to ensure that this country is safe, and citizens are secure.

“From our own part at Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps we are also working in collaboration with other security agencies and I want to assure you that the future is bright for this country.’’

Ms Amina Isah, Abuja Bureau Chief of Royal Newspapers, said Nigeria would overcome all her challenges in unity and with the collaboration of all stakeholders.

Isah said there is unity in diversity and if Nigeria would remain one , as elections approaches, citizens should shun religious violence, ethnicity, bigotry and every element causing disunity and see each other as one in order to have the one Nigeria they desire.

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