ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. ABDULLAHI UMAR GANDUJE, OFR, KHADIMUL ISLAM, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KANO STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S 61st INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, HELD AT SANI ABACHA STADIUM, KOFAR MATA, KANO ON OCTOBER 1, 2021.
It is 61 years ago since we freed our nation, Nigeria, from the chains of colonialism and imperialism.
Every year since that historic day, we gather to celebrate, show our unrestrained pleasure and sought to express a deep consciousness of love for our country as well as the importance of ensuring that we realize our potential as the most populous black nation in Africa.
The Independence Day, therefore, is a blissful occasion for all Nigerians to appreciate the efforts of our ancestors at gaining independence from the colonial masters.
I wish to thank Allah the Almighty for the bountiful blessings He has continually bestowed on us all these years and also to witness yet another national event in the life of this administration.
Today, freedom and the cultivation of democratic values are strengthening our determination to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights, principles of democratic accountability and the dictates of social justice.
Nevertheless, in the recent years, we recognise that the biggest challenge confronting us is the issue of security and to some extent our corporate existence as one nation. We, however, must not miss the fact that Nigeria’s resolve to remain as one indivisible entity has remained unshaken.
Fellow citizens, I have always believed that Nigeria is a united and indivisible country and that our constitution has even taken care of that. I don’t see secession as the way out of the current challenges afflicting the nation. Instead, I recommend dialogue as a crucial option for addressing such problems.
I am confident that with dedication, hard work, honesty and integrity, we can fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of our nation, who envisioned us to be a dynamic, progressive, prosperous and united nation.
We must all step up and play significant roles in the development of our motherland.We must not underestimate the importance of peace for any development to take place. All our plans and big dreams will come to nothing, if we do not have peace in our country.
The recent spate of banditry and kidnapping is totally unacceptable. No miscreant should have the space to terrorize citizens and generate a sense of insecurity in our country.
Let us, on this joyous occasion, salute the leadership and the gallant men and women of our security forces, who, in the recent operations against this criminals are putting their lives on the line to guarantee our safety and security. They are patriots, indeed. I urge you all to join in making sure there is no hiding place in our midst for those who would disturb our peace. We must not allow our dynamism to be shattered by either the failures of the past or the challenges of today. Let us embrace today’s challenges as opportunities for a brighter tomorrow. Let us re-define our sense of national responsibility, and remove any doubt some may continue to have about our ability to manage this situation.Fellow citizens, with your mandate, we are into the sixth year of our first and second tenure in office. During this period, we have not promise much, but we thank Almighty Allah that we have been able to deliver much in terms of evolving and implementing policies and programmes geared towards the development of our dear state.These achievements cover areas of peace and security, human capital development, physical infrastructure, and sustainable economic development through our various interventions in matters related to security, educational institutions, healthcare delivery, public service, improved agricultural inputs and production, skill development and economic empowerment programmes.In my inaugural address, I have made it clear to you that while we concentrate on completing all our infrastructure development projects, we will only initiate new critical infrastructure projects that have direct bearing on the general populace.I would like to abreast you with some of our achievements, particularly what we have able to do in this second tenure in office. Just recently, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned one of our signature projects-The three layer Dangi by Zaria Road change over road. Apart from the beautifulness of the multi-billion project befitting Mega city, the traffic hold up in that area of the bridge, as you can testify, is now a history.We have already commenced similar critical signature project, that is, the construction of a new multi-layered flyover and interchange roads at the busy NNPC roundabout in Hotoro area of our state capital.Similarly, another ongoing gigantic project is the construction of multi-million naira world standard Kano Cancer Treatment Centre in the premises of Muhammadu Buhari Hospital Giginyu. Work has reached appreciable level on the project. When completed, the centre will treat 100 patients daily and will also reduce medical tourism and high cost of cancer abroad.Construction works are also continuing on the upgrade of 400-bed capacity hospitals in each of the headquarters of the four created Emirates. This is in addition to the construction of road network to complement our emerging mega city. The multi-million Naira Aliko Dangote Skill Acquisition Centre along Kano-Zaria Federal Highway has also been completed and fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for the training of our youth on different trades. While admission into the centre is currently being processed, preparations are underway to officially commission the project.This is in addition to the implementation of various youth and women economic empowerment programmes since our inception. Presently, we have the fourth batch of 150 youth, men and women undergoing training on auto mechanics at the PAN Learning Centre who will soon graduate.We appreciate the fact that Kano as centre of commerce and North’s industrial hub, we are determined to generate power from the state owned Independent Power Project (IPP) for industrial and other uses from Challawa and Tiga Dams.The project is designed to generate an estimated 7.2 megawatts of electricity for a start and is expected to impact positively in the conservation of monetary resource being expended by the state in servicing electricity bills as it involves some key state public utility establishments.It will also supply energy to the small-scale industries at Sharada, Challawa and Bompai Industrial Estates during the day time, while the two water treatment plants at Tamburawa and Challawa will supply power to street lights in the night in order to improve security situation in the state.Fellow citizens of Kano, we have been treated to a wonderful performance by school children and men and women from the police and other services. It took hours and weeks of practice to be able to put up such a perfect display, and I wish to congratulate them all. I wish you all a joyous 61st Independence Anniversary, and, once again, our dear nation prosperous years ahead.I thank you for your attention.