A group of female professionals in the country, known as S.M.A.R.T Women, has called on Nigerians not to lose hope in the country despite the many negativities being presently witnessed across the land.
In an Independence Anniversary message to Nigerians, through its co-conveners, Bunmi Oke and Folake Aina, the group urges Nigerians not to despair but keep hope alive, saying Nigeria will be great again.
The female Non-Governmental Organisation whose membership cuts across, hinged its advisory on the continued ASUU strike, insecurity, economic downturn, rising cost of living, brain drain and job losses, among other issues of great concern, said it would be inhumane for them as mothers, not to rise to the occasion and console many affected people at this trying times.
Explaining that there is need to raise the hope of the people, especially as the nation move towards the electioneering season, the female group said there are too many challenges facing the people, which necessitated the clarion call in order to calm frail nerves and soothen upset emotions.
The group said, rather than join in the lamentations, they, as mothers will rather use the independence anniversary celebrations across the country as an illustration to pass the message of a new Nigeria that should birth in 2023 if things are put in proper perspective.
While calling on the government at all levels to do more in alleviating the sufferings of the people, the concerned mothers wished all Nigerians a peaceful anniversary and pray for hitch free celebrations.
The statement reads in part: “we are celebrating our 62nd independence anniversary, it means there was a period we were under colonial bondage. Our forebears did not lose hope but strived to place Nigeria as a force amongst comity of Nations.
“We are calling on all Nigerians, especially the youths and women, not to despair or lose hope in the country. These are challenging times, and this is the time we need to be more hopeful of a better future.
“We are aware that many are now downtrodden due to the multifaceted challenges bedeviling our dear county, but these are mere challenges that are meant to strengthen us. We shall come out victorious as a people.
“On our part, we are not just smart women, we are also concerned mothers, whose children have been off campus for over seven months now. We feel the pain because we are also affected.
“As entrepreneurs, our businesses are also facing trying times. We are affected by the economic downturn, just as many homes are being threatened as well, but we mustn’t despair.
“We plead with the governments at all levels to do more for the common man and bring together Nigerians by exploring the unity in our diversity.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his executive team as well as the striking university lecturers to please sheath their swords and reach a middle point in the interest of the students and the nation.
“We cannot afford to add more injuries to the plight of the people, who are currently facing economic hardship occasioned by rising cost of rents and food prices, unstable exchange rate, increased pump price and displacements due to security challenges, among several other challenges.
“This is the time to look inward and see how we can rally ourselves and bring out homegrown solutions to these numerous challenges.
“Our challenges are surmountable, it only takes collective responsibility to get us to our El-dorado. We must not despair, we must not lose hope and we must not give up at this critical time.
“It is our belief and prayers that Nigerians will laugh last and laugh best. We pray our present leaders will not allow the labour of our past leaders who fought for our Independence be in vain.
“We wish each and every Nigerian, at home and in the Diaspora, a peaceful, happy and hitch free independence anniversary celebration”.