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Reps say 'Nigeria at 55' calls for celebration

Elendu-Ukeje urged Nigerians to be patriotic.

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Some members of the House of Representatives said on Wednesday said that Nigeria’s attainment of 55 years of independence as a nation called for a celebration of victory.

Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (Abia-PDP) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Elendu-Ukeje urged Nigerians to be patriotic, to have faith in the future of the country and not to allow themselves to be bullied into "look(ing) at ourselves with the eyes of people, who want to denigrate our country".

"I just want to celebrate the beauty that Nigeria is; I want to celebrate everybody; I want to celebrate the men of the arm and women of the arm forces, executive arm, government, the judiciary, the Nigerian women, the Nigerian child.

"I live in a place called hope; for today I am from Gamboru-Ngala; for today I want to look at my Nigerian flag again with renewed patriotism, with love, with hope, with the future that everybody will be happy to be a Nigerian.

"I listen to Americans and they say I am an American and I want Nigerians to say I am a Nigerian.

"Let’s not look at ourselves with the eyes of people, who want to denigrate our country, but let us look with faith at a Nigeria that we want.

"Think it, hope it, speak it.

"In the words of the Dalai Lama, he said my experiences - good and bad - make me who I am.

"Our experiences - good or bad - make us the great country that we are - not good, not bad - just a great Nigeria."

Rep. Aisha Dukku (Gombe-APC) expressed gratitude to God for the state of the nation and applauded the Nigerian military’s efforts at restoring peace in the North East zone of the country.

"We have to start by thanking God just as its being done in our Mosques and Churches; thanking God for His benevolence to us.

"And I feel coming from the North-east my best bet is for me to celebrate and to ask all Nigerians to celebrate the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Gen. Tukur Burutai.

"He has given us respite and he is giving us hope that life will soon come back to normal.

"I also want us to celebrate the Nigerian child, who has lost the father, has lost the mother, has lost the environment he or she is used to and is now living in a camp for internally displaced persons.

"I feel we should celebrate that child and I feel that we all need to go these camps in one way or the other and give these children hope that Nigeria at 55 can still do something to make their lives meaningful.

"We should be the mothers and fathers that they have lost; we should also provide the environment they have lost.

"We should also give them the education they need."

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