He also said that 60 years of nationhood provided the opportunity to ask if the country is still on course.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, in his Independence Day speech on Thursday, reeled out how the country’s founding fathers ensured the country remained united in spite of limited resources, asking if Nigeria has continued to sustain the aspirations of the founding fathers.
“He also said that 60 years of nationhood provided the opportunity to ask if the country is still on course.
“According to him: “On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolising Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.
“This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed.
“Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.
“That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately seven million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometres. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.
“Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200 million occupying the same land mass but 52 per cent residing in urban areas.
“Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?”