Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day celebration may have been more meaningful if the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had settled their differences, said His Royal Majesty Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin.
Naija News reports that the renowned monarch joined other patriotic Nigerians in a statement to reflect the status of the country as it marked another anniversary.
The Oba of Benin expressed dissatisfaction with the lingering industrial action by the varsity lecturers over the actions and inactions of the government on the union’s demands.
The monarch, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, said the over seven-month-old strike has disrupted the academic calendars of public universities.
Oba of Benin, thereby charged the federal government and ASUU to as a matter of urgency, find amicable solutions to put an end to the lingering strike.
The Oba said that “the independence celebration may not offer much pageantry to some citizens, the mere fact that the nation has remained one indivisible sovereignty, despite daunting challenges, deserves a compliment.”
He noted that the resilience of some Nigerians may have made the nation proud and those who paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria’s survival since independence from Britain, deserve mention.
The Benin monarch expressed hope that Nigeria will be better again with prayers and hard work despite the economic hardship, insecurity, conflicts, endless agitations and other challenges faced.
He advised contemporary leaders to always aspire to make an impact through leadership skills, especially with a sense of responsibility and patriotism by citizens for the nation to truly attain its status as the giant of Africa both in practice and principle.
Commenting on the forthcoming general elections, the Oba advised Nigerians to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver credible, free and fair elections in 2023.
The Oba of Benin said: “Political actors, especially those in governments and other stakeholders should play by the rules. Eligible voters should shun vote buying to deepen our democratic values.
“Nigerians should unite against our common enemies that have hindered the progress of the nation by denouncing evil, poverty, unemployment, corruption, crime, insurgency and economic sabotage particularly oil theft and double-standard in the application of the Law of the Land” the revered Benin monarch re-echoed on the occasion of the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria.”