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Nigeria @ 59: Trump Says Nigeria Shares Same Goals With US, Atiku Decries Press Intimidation

In view of Nigeria’s 59th Independence celebration, the President of the United States, Donald Trump and PDP presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have both expressed their viewpoints on the nations’ state of development.

Trump, who congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary, described the country as one of America’s strongest partners in Africa.

The US President, in a statement in Washington on Monday, said Nigeria and America shared common goals of expanding trade and growing their economic relationship.

He said, “We are allies in the global battle against terrorism, and we want to see Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa driven out of the region and other insurgencies like them dismantled.

“The United States welcomes efforts by your administration to diversify opportunities for your talented, creative, and hardworking people to the benefit of both our countries, Africa, and the world.”

The American President said he was pleased that the vice presidents of the two nations were building on the longstanding history of cooperation between the US and Nigeria.

But at home, Nigerian politicians and other prominent Nigerians disagreed on the achievements of the country and its prospects.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in February 23, 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, painted a gloomy picture of the country and said all was not well with it.

The former Vice-President, in his message on Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary, said the nation’s founding fathers could not have imagined  that 59 years after independence, free press would be endangered in the largest black nation in the world.

He also said they could not have imagined that the  judiciary would be under attacks, and that  youths and activists, who should ordinarily be the future of Nigeria, would be facing  threats of arrest and intimidation.

He, however, called on Nigerians to work for the development of the country and insist that no one in the country, no matter how highly placed, should be bigger than the laws of the land.

Atiku stated,  “I could call for prayers, as others would indeed call for today. I could also call on Nigerians to show more understanding, as indeed many have said in the past and will undoubtedly say again today. But I am mindful of the fact that the time for rhetoric has long since passed and now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers – unity and faith, peace and progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.

“All is not well when judges are persecuted for enforcing the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens. All is not well when Nigeria is now officially the world headquarters for extreme poverty and out of schoolchildren, yet the cost of maintaining those in government continues to grow, while the needs of the governed are not being met. And certainly, all is not well when the media cannot freely express itself without the fear that those who wield the big stick would use it on them for saying things as they are.”

Also, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus,  said  Nigeria was dying under the watch of  Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress.

In a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, Secondus said every index at 59 years of Nigeria showed that the country was going down. He stated that only  truth and nothing else would save Nigerians.

He said, “What happened in the country last February at the presidential election remains a sad reminder of the damage this administration has done to our democratic psyche as a nation.”

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