Following the death of over 747 pilgrims and 804 others who sustained injuries at this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the Senate yesterday called for low key celebration of Nigeria’s 55th independence anniversary.
The upper chamber urged Nigerians to consider the independence anniversary as a period for sober reflection and a time to identify with the families of Nigerian Muslims in particular and others who lost their lives in the stampede.
This followed the approved additional prayer by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba North) and Aliyu Sabi (APC, Niger East) during debate on the country’s independence anniversary on the floor of the Red Chamber.
The senators congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and people of Nigeria on the 55th independence anniversary of the country.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while concluding debate on the motion, commended the senators for their concern for the nation’s development and called on Nigerians to intensify prayers for the country and remain united.
This, he noted remains one of the best ways for the country to achieve greatness, “because Nigeria will make a lot of progress if we are united and would be able to build on the past achievements made since independence.”
Sponsor of the motion entitled “Congratulations to Nigeria and Nigerians on her 55th Independence Anniversary”, Senator Ali Ndume, who is the Senate Leader, noted that from May 29, 1999 till date, the country has had the longest reign of democratic government in her political history.
He, however, stated that “while we may have had our challenges as a nation, we are moving forward as one nation indivisible in character and aspiration.”
Ndume also acknowledged that the country has a task to ensure that the labour of those who made independence possible and those who worked tirelessly to keep her united would not be in vain.
“While we have come this far, our vision of the future must be kept bright with hard work and dedication and called for the remembrance of “heroes of independence and democracy, those whose blood and sweat got us this far and celebrate them even today.”
The Senate leader charged lawmakers to continue to demonstrate commitment to the unity and oneness as a nation of free citizens.