President Muhammadu Buhari (image courtesy Presidency)

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he will continue to promote, protect and preserve a united, peaceful, prosperous and secure Nigeria.

The Nigerian leader made this known in his Independence Day Anniversary address to mark Nigeria’s 58th year of nationhood on 1 October.

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He enjoined all citizens to continue to promote the values, virtues and common aspirations that unite Nigerians rather than engaging in divisive tendencies.

He said: “As we celebrate the 58th Anniversary of our independence, we know we are on the right path. Although we have our differences, they count for far less than the values, virtues and common aspirations that unite us as a nation.

“We have so much for which we should be grateful, and in which we should rightly take pride.

“Our journey is not finished but we have come a long way.’’

The President also pledged that his administration would continue to support initiatives aimed at addressing “the challenges of our times.’’

He said such challenges included global and regional crises and conflicts, terrorism, trans-border crime, climate change, human rights, gender equality, development, poverty and inequality within and between nations, etc.

“In this context, we are working hard to achieve both the AU 2063 Agenda for socio-economic transformation of our continent; and the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which together aim at addressing these challenges,’’ he added.

At the international level, Buhari said Nigeria would continue to remain a responsible and respected member of the international community.

He maintained that Nigeria would continue to play “active positive roles within ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations as well as all other regional and international organisations and institutions of which we are members.’’

On development of democratic values and culture in the country, the president `confessed’ that the task was not an easy one.

“Developing a thriving democracy is not an easy task. There can be no quick fixes or short cuts.

“These are the most important lessons that we have learnt in our 58 years as an independent nation.’’