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Okowa, Sanwo-Olu, Makinde, Ishaku, Lalong congratulate Nigerians

…say let’s keep hope alive

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa yesterday urged the people of the state and Nigerians to confidently approach the 2021 New Year with great optimism for an impactful ‘Stronger Delta’ mantra of his administration.

The governor, who admitted that the outgone 2020 was a very challenging year for the state and the country in general, said in his New Year message to the people of the state the global economy is in quagmire.

The message signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, yesterday reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to providing quality and enhanced service delivery, even as he expressed confidence that the New Year would usher in a new lease of life.

The statement noted: “I join you all in giving thanks to God for His guidance and protection all through 2020. Your unalloyed support and cooperation have been my source of courage and strength.

“For COVID-19, which is making a rather unfortunate ‘return’ after what appeared as respite in its ravaging effects on our people and the nation, I appeal to all residents to eschew complacence and resume full compliance with the protocols to check the spread of the virus as prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”

He was echoed by his Taraba State’s counterpart, Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku, who asked Nigerians to keep hope alive in the new year. Ishaku advised citizens to remain steadfast in their support for government’s battle against insecurity, COVID-19 and economic challenges facing the state and the country. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, urged Nigerians especially Lagosians to enter the New Year with a rekindled and renewed hope in themselves and the nation that things would get better in 2021.

Sanwo-Olu in his New Year message while speaking to journalists at the State House, Marina yesterday, advised people not to enter 2021 with any grievance, pain or regrets, saying that all negative things should be left with 2020. He said: “I wish every Lagosian a happy New Year. We pray that 2021 will be a year of rekindled hope for all of us in our homes, offices, schools, health facilities and every facet of life that we find ourselves. “We want to say to all our people that indeed as difficult as 2020 might have appeared to each one of us, we should not be lost in the learning and lessons of 2020.

We should not enter 2021 with any grievance, pain and regrets because that should just be left with 2020. “In 2021, we must have that belief and rekindled hope that things would get better. We should not forget the learning and the lessons because it is only when you have learnt from what has happened that you can become a better person going forward. And there should not be any form of bitterness and anger.” Also, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State declared that residents of the state and Nigerians should be thankful to God for surviving 2020, stating that although many would describe the year as a tough one, God’s grace saw them through the various challenges that characterised the year. He said: “As 2020 closes, I am reminded of the words of the very popular 1897 hymn by Johnson Oatman Jr, “Count your Blessings.”

“This song encourages us to take stock of the good things that happened in our lives. “When we do this, we often find that we have overlooked many positives. “Many would describe 2020 as a tough year. At the beginning of the year, the drop in oil prices led to a huge drop in revenue from federal allocations and attendant economic meltdown. “In March 2020, many states in Nigeria had cases of the coronavirus disease.

“This necessitated an interstate lockdown by the Federal Government. Although we did not effect a total lockdown in Oyo State, we were not spared the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A few months later, we faced mass protests by the youths and others who were angry about police brutality. Events after the protests also set us back economically. “However, our 2020 is not defined by these events.

As the first stanza of that song says: “When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. “May your year 2021 be better than your year 2020.”

Plateau State Governor and Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, Simon Lalong has said that despite challenges of the outgone year 2020, Nigerians should be optimistic and pray for recovery and progress of the country in 2021. Lalong stated this in a statement signed and issued to Journalists in Jos by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Simon Macham while congratulating residents and Nigerians for witnessing the year 2021. Lalong said: “We must all join hands together to overcome COVID-19 which adversely affected our economy last year remains a threat that could cause disruptions in the new year because of the second wave.

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