The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerians that the year 2016 offers a real opportunity for change in the country.
In a New Year message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker praised the unshakable commitment of leaders at all levels of government to a better Nigeria.
He cited the pro – people 2016 Budget of President Buhari’s administration which is before the National Assembly adding that “when passed into law and faithfully executed, will not only lift the common man from abject poverty, it will also usher in the much needed opportunities for innovation and investment that are the engines of economic growth and prosperity.”
The Speaker who expressed hope that happy times will be here again, however, maintained that, “the people must go to work to make it happen, as government alone cannot solve all our problems”.
“Democracy and governments do not build nations but it’s rather citizens of democracy who must take up the tools of democracy and embrace the opportunities created by their government that build the nation of their dream,” he added.
Hon. Dogara urged all Nigerians to abhor the culture of passivity and apathy which only produces docile citizenry saying that, “if our people expects that CHANGE means to be docile and allow government alone to bring progress and build our nation, they expect what never was and never shall be.”
Dogara advised that it’s time Nigerians take responsibility for their own lives and work towards making Nigeria great again in order to avoid over dependence on government, saying that, “a democratic government should always depend on its citizens as the reverse will only amount to slavery”.
“On our part, the National Assembly must also go to work as the central institution of democracy through which the will of the people is expressed.
“As parliamentarians we can no longer afford to remain observers or mere onlookers but actors. Our work is more urgent than before because the change we seek must not be anchored on the quick sands of expediency, but on the enduring solid rock of legislative frameworks that deal with corruption, eliminates gender based violence, strengthens democratic institutions, reinforces human rights and good governance.
“We must also not fail the nation in ensuring effective scrutiny of the national government to ensure implementation of all legislative frameworks,” he said.
While suing for peace and unity among Nigerians, irrespective of regional, ethnic, political or religious affiliations, Hon. Dogara urged the citizens to be security vigilant and support the fight against terrorism and sundry crimes in the country.
“As 2016 dawns with hopes anew, filled with promises of a brighter tomorrow; with courage, faith and great effort we shall achieve all we desire. I wish all Nigerians a happy and prosperous New Year and pray that our nation attains greater heights in the New Year,” the Speaker said.
In the same vein, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Sulaimon Lasun Yusuf, also said that there is serious hope for a better Nigeria, if the people support and cooperate with President Buhari in his anti-terrorism crusade.
Hon. Lasun said that the stage is set by the All Progressives Congress-led government to give a radical approach to the development of Nigeria.
He said that “Nigeria is on the threshold of regaining its full potentials because that is what we deserve and the signs are beginning to show.
“It is my appeal to Nigerians that we support the government of the day as it tries to address some of the fundamental problems confronting the growth of our country like unemployment, unstable power, deplorable roads and unacceptable healthcare delivery, Lasun said.”
Speaking on the Presidential media chat held on Wednesday night, the Deputy Speaker said that from the tone of the President, “Nigerians should be rejoicing that at last they have a leader who is ready to take them to the promise land”.