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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Sunday urged Nigerians to shun actions capable of threatening the peace and unity of the country during the 2023 polls.
The governor made this appeal at the 62nd Independence Anniversary Church service held at the Cathedral of St. Peter, in Ake, Abeokuta.
Abiodun stressed the need for continued peaceful coexistence among Nigerians for the socio-economic and political development of the country.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, acknowledged the anxiety generally expressed by Nigerians whenever general elections are about to take place.
He said, “This is because an average citizen fears that this is the time the unity of the nation is always threatened.
“The celebration of our nationhood is the celebration of the oneness of Nigeria, of the security of her people and the fulfillment of individuals’ aspirations.
“In Ogun State, we have built a harmonious society where different ethnic groups and religions live together in peace, run their businesses, and bring up their families. In fact, in Ogun State, we have multi-generational families who have made our state their home and conduct their businesses without fear.
“In Ogun State, there are inter-marriages between our citizens and others across the country. We believe this is what Nigeria should be. We serve as an example to other parts of the country.”
Abiodun pointed out that his administration in the last three and a half years had continued to develop the state by ensuring a peaceful environment for enduring economic development, which has attracted more people to the state.
While reiterating that his government would not promise what it would not fulfill, the governor assured that with the support of the people, all promises made during the 2019 campaign would be kept.
He, however, called on Nigerians to be their brother’s keepers and desist from hurting one another, saying “this act of love and care will engender enduring peace and help build a nation that all Nigerians will be proud of.”
In his sermon, the Diocesan Bishop of Awori, Rt. (Revd) Johnson Atere, expressed dismay that Nigeria, which was once the giant of Africa, is now begging for bread, saying disobedience, oppression, ungodliness and hatred on the part of individuals, families and governments were some of the sins that had brought the country to her knees.
While calling for an end to the shedding of innocent blood, hatred, and all forms of sins, he said God was about to do something new in Nigeria, but needed all citizens, including the leaders to renew their minds and faith in God and be their brothers and sisters’ keepers.
Atere urged Nigerians to be wise during the forthcoming general election by choosing the right people to lead the nation, positing that Nigerians do not have the moral right to blame the government if they refuse to do the needful in 2023, which he said is another opportunity to restore the nation’s hope.
He, however, solicited the inclusion of traditional rulers in running the security architecture, particularly at the grassroots.
The service had in attendance top federal and state government officials, security chiefs, traditional rulers and chief executive officers, among others.