The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the successful centenary celebrations saying the events have ushered in a new and beautiful era of oneness, brotherliness, unity and peace in the nation.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday said the party is very proud of President Jonathan for organizing the events which “not only succeeded in putting the nation on the international arena to showcase our best but also fostered unity and genuine reconciliation among our leaders and the people.”
“The Centenary celebrations have ushered in a new era. They have rekindled the Nigerian spirit in all of us. They have revived our sense of patriotism; our inner love for one another as one people under God.
“The Centenary Concert not only reminded us of our common root but also pointed us to our rich heritage which comes alive only when we combine our energies as a people. It showed we are indeed one people determined to succeed and that our divisions are as ephemeral as they are artificial.
“The PDP and indeed all well meaning Nigerians appreciate President Goodluck Jonathan for organizing the centenary prayers and the Award Nite which for the first time in contemporary history brought together all our living past leaders under one roof despite their differences, perceived or real.
“Nigerians were moved and their hopes of a peaceful great nation was rekindled when they saw former President Shehu Shagari, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdusalami Abubakar come together. Nigerians were moved when they saw General Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan together irrespective of their perceived misunderstandings. This shows that our differences and disagreements as a nation do not get to the bones and can always be resolved.
“We remain eternally grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan for using the event not only to awaken the spirit of patriotism by honouring outstanding Nigerians but also to engender genuine reconciliation among our leaders; a feat which has opened the portals for a new era of peace and unity among the people irrespective of political, religious, ethnic and sectional affiliations.
“We also salute our leaders for this show of statesmanship and urge that such understanding, maturity and patriotism should trickle down to all other leaders at all levels. We cannot agree less with Nigerians in their insistence that this would not have been possible but for the humility, candour and the forthrightness of President Goodluck Jonathan in handling national issues in spite of the challenges we face as a nation.
“Those who believed that the Centenary is not worth celebrating can now see their mistake. Through the Centenary celebrations, Nigeria is now in a new era where brotherly love, peace and unity have been revived. We have moved into a new era where we must eschew all forms of bitterness, crucify all that divide us and focus only on those things that bind us together as one people.
“The entire world is watching us. We are now in a period where the unity, prosperity and happiness of our people must be our collective priority; where the shedding of the blood of the innocent must stop and where our dear nation and our people are no longer defined by political, tribal, religious and sectional considerations but as a united people with a common destiny.
“Our nation has for long been under attack by sectional interest and this is the time to silence such interests and build a strong and united country. The challenges we face are transitory and cannot defeat our collective spirit. We must learn to support our leaders and in this regard, our criticisms must be constructive and all forms of bigotry must end.
“We therefore call on all Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations to stand up and defend our common destiny as a nation. If you have ever benefitted from the soil of this country; if you have ever drank from the waters of Nigeria; if you have ever been refreshed by the cool and fresh air God has blessed us with; if you have ever eaten of the fruit of this land, then the time has come for you to give back to the land. Let us stand up and collectively establish and defend the unity and greatness of our dear nation so that labours of our heroes past shall not and shall not be in vain.”