Leaders recount strides, crises.

A HAIL of socio-political and economic challenges stalking the nation notwithstanding, it has made progress.
This is the position of leaders like the Senate President David Mark and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as the country marks its 53rd independence anniversary today.
According to Mark in a goodwill message, although the citizens are yet to realise their vision of Nigeria, nobody could deny the fact that the country has recorded some landmark achievements since independence.
“Besides the infrastructural development across the country, we now have skilled and qualified manpower in virtually all fields of human endeavour”, he said
Mark, therefore, implored Nigerians to renew hope and faith in their abilities to rise above national challenges and enjoy an internationally-acceptable standard of living.
He also called for the support of all Nigerians in the task of nation-building, noting that “all of us may not be good doctors, good lawyers, good writers or good engineers but we can all contribute our quota where we have comparative advantages to make our country a better place.
“We must therefore strive to harness our human and material resources in a way and manner that would engender development in all ramifications.”
Mark recounted the country’s numerous challenges, especially the insecurity and canvassed a review of approaches in tackling the menace.
He recalled the setbacks occasioned by the 30-month civil war, various ethno-religious conflicts and kidnapping and prayed God for wise counsel.
On his part, Oritsejafor urged Nigerians to be hopeful and live in peace and harmony despite the challenges confronting the nation.
According to Oritsejafor in a statement in Abuja, Nigeria as leader of the African continent, deserves more than she has attained so far.
For him, the country is yet to achieve the desired standard of conduct and performance envisaged by her founding fathers, and development would come as soon as all the challenges inhibiting her progress are surmounted.
His words: “We must keep hope alive. We are still together and would be together. There has been modest development. It could be better. But the atmosphere is not encouraging enough to hold those administering the country accountable, talking about the security challenges. We must all return to the path of sanity to be able to develop. We must return to the days of the earliest stage of Nigeria’s evolution by shunning stances that pose as challenges to our development, imbibe positive attitudes to changes that are in line with global standards because Nigerians should begin to be assigned credits that change particular negative circumstances to good, no matter the challenges facing us as a nation.”
He added: “It is worse that Nigeria is still an open structure for spectators as opposed to her earliest stage when we used to have a grandstand view of the proceedings for the development of the various regions that existed. If Nigeria must develop, we must return to the path of a close-run finish to a competition for development by federal and state governments that is exciting, not one that is built along the lines of tribal, ethnic and religious considerations.”