Former Deputy National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George and lawmaker representing Lagos East on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Tokunbo Abiru, have urged Nigerians to be hopeful as the country enters into year 2021.
The duo in separate new year messages, yesterday, said though year 2020 was filled with various challenges like the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, disastrous aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, banditry and other forms of insecurity that claimed lives and property, which also resulted in economic recession, “there is hope God is going to intervene and make things better this year.”
George in his message said 2020 was a very terrible year on all fronts, noting that “no nation was spared from the terrible pandemic whose scourge still festers across the globe with increasing venom.”
He noted that despite the hope that 2021 would be fruitful, “Nigeria is still challenged with the burden of inequitable obviousness in the machineries of the state.”
He added: “Our Republic is still much skewed, imbalanced, distorted by a constitutional arrangement that does not augur for national cohesion and growth.
“The composition of power must yield ultimately to a true, genuine structural equity where everyone will have a sense of belonging and where every state can develop along its own natural path with the resources on its ground.”
The PDP stalwart called for a revisit of the 2014 Constitutional Conference recommendations, which he noted, “is quite enlightening about how this nation can be redesigned along a true, fair, equitable, civilised federation.”
Abiru said 2020 left indelible marks across the globe and especially in Lagos East that lost notable personalities like Sen. Adebayo Osinowo, Chief Lanre Rasaq and Hon. Tunde Braimoh at the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. He noted that despite its low moments, “we have cause to appreciate God for all the events of Year 2020.”
“We are alive, hale and healthy to witness the New Year amid hope and optimism,” he added. He therefore pledged to join hands with his colleagues in the legislature to provide necessary legislative support required to reposition Nigeria’s economy in the new year.
According to him, “in the first quarter, I will formally inaugurate an Endowment Fund, a personal empowerment initiative set up for the indigent brilliant students, the aged, the youth and the vulnerable, including persons with special needs. The Fund will complement the efforts of the federal and state governments in the areas of skill acquisition and capacity development.”