Inspiring quotes from Nigerian leaders on Independence Day

Inspiring quotes from Nigerian leaders on Independence Day

As Nigeria marks another Independence Day, we turn our attention to the impactful words spoken by the nation’s leaders over the years.

In this article, we present ten powerful quotes from past Presidents of Nigeria.

As Nigeria marks another Independence Day, we turn our attention to the impactful words spoken by the nation’s leaders over the years.

From former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo, to Muhammadu Buhari, these leaders have shared insights on Nigeria’s progress, challenges, and aspirations during various Independence Day speeches.

Excerpts from President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Independence Day speech in 2000
“It is time to part with youthful pursuits and settle to a life of reasonableness, decency, good family values, good citizenship, and leadership; it is also a time to henceforth enjoin the good and eschew the evil; and it is the age to be realistic, candid and to abandoned deceiving oneself and others.

“Fellow Nigerians, this country was set to be a proud homeland where young people had their career expectations of rising into the middle class fulfilled, and all our people enjoying full opportunities of employment particularly in the burgeoning private sector, in a country with free enterprise, a country of economic growth and development.”

“If we all embrace this national ethos and live by it and for it, the name of Nigeria will cease to conjure up in the minds of some outsiders the image of chaos and confusion, military coups and instability, corruption, non-working utilities, repression and brutality, violation of human rights, drug trafficking, and business fraud.”

Excerpts from President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s Independence Day speech in 2009

“Fellow Nigerians, as we mark Nigeria’s 49th year of nationhood, this day offers us an opportunity for celebration, reflection, and rededication: a celebration of that historic day when we joined the League of free nations; reflection on how far we still have to go to give full meaning to our freedom, and the commitment we must continue to provide for the actualization of the nation’s dream of becoming one of the world’s twenty largest economies by the year 2020.”

“Rather than become another day of self-flagellation, today should be a forceful reminder of the promise yet to be fulfilled, of the dream deferred for too long, and of the work that is still outstanding.”

Excerpts from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s 2013 Independence Day speech

“Our independence celebration is about the same people, the people of Nigeria: their industry, sense of mission and purpose, and their patience and perseverance as we navigate historical turns in our march towards prosperity and self-sufficiency. Today, I salute the people of Nigeria.”

“Fellow Nigerians… Our progress since independence has not always been smooth… but despite all its flaws, it has lasted longer than all the previous three put together. That is progress and it proves that, our differences – real and imagined – notwithstanding, we are, in every sense, a united nation.”

Excerpts from President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 Independence Day speech

“I ran for office four times to make the point that we can rule this nation with honesty and transparency, that we can stop the stealing of Nigeria’s resources so that the resources could be used to provide jobs for our young people, security, infrastructure for commerce, education, and healthcare. I ran for office because I knew that good government was the only way to ensure prosperity and abundance for all. I remain resolutely committed to this objective.”

“Our reforms are therefore designed to prepare Nigeria for the 21st century. Finally, let me commend Nigerians for your patience, steadfastness, and perseverance. You know that I am trying to do the right things for our country.”


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