This Is The Full Text of President Jonathan’s Centenary Celebration Address


In case you missed the National broadcast of President Jonathan`s Centenary
celebration address here you have it, read it bellow.

Dear Compatriots,
1.            I
extend warm greetings and felicitations to all Nigerians as we celebrate our
nation’s centenary; a significant milestone in our journey to Nationhood.

2.            One
hundred years ago, on the 1st of January 1914, the British Colonial authorities
amalgamated the Southern and Northern Protectorates, giving birth to the single
geo-political entity called Nigeria which has become our home, our hope, and our

3.            I have
often expressed the conviction that our amalgamation was not a mistake. While
our union may have been inspired by considerations external to our people; I
have no doubt that we are destined by God Almighty to live together as one big
nation, united in diversity.
4.         I consider myself
specially privileged to lead our country into its second century of existence.
And as I speak with you today, I feel the full weight of our hundred-year
history. But what I feel most is not frustration, it is not disillusionment.
What I feel is great pride and great hope for a country that is bound to
overcome the transient pains of the moment and eventually take its rightful
place among the greatest nations on earth.

5.         Like every country of the
world, we have had our troubles. And we still do. We have fought a civil war.
We have seen civil authorities overthrown by the military. We have suffered
sectarian violence. And as I speak, a part of our country is still suffering
from the brutal assault of terrorists and insurgents.

6.            While
the occasion of our centenary undoubtedly calls for celebration, it is also a
moment to pause and reflect on our journey of the past one hundred years, to
take stock of our past and consider the best way forward for our nation.

7.         Even as we celebrate our
centenary, we must realise that in the context of history, our nation is still
in its infancy.

8.         We are a nation of the
future, not of the past and while we may have travelled for a century, we are
not yet at our destination of greatness.

9.         The amalgamation of 1914
was only the first step in our national journey. Unification was followed by
independence and democracy which have unleashed the enormous potentials of our
people and laid the foundation for our nation’s greatness.

10.    In challenging times, it is easy to become pessimistic
and cynical. But hope, when grounded in realism, enables and inspires progress.
Therefore, as we celebrate our first century of nationhood and enter a second,
we must not lose sight of all that we have achieved since 1914 in terms of
nation-building, development and progress.

11.    Today, we salute once again the great heroes of our
nation – Herbert Macaulay, Ernest Ikoli, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello,
Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alvan Ikoku, Chief Harold
Dappa-Biriye, Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Mallam Aminu Kano,
Mokwugo Okoye and Chief Michael Imoudu among others.

12.    We must be inspired by our past to overcome the
obstacles we face in the present and honour our forebears by realising the
promise of a Nigeria that is not only independent but also truly unified,
prosperous and admired the world over.

13.    The history of Nigeria since independence is the story
of a struggle to fulfill our great promise. The discovery of oil in our country
in the late 1950s offered new hope of prosperity but we have not always been
able to reap the benefits in a fair and equitable way.

14.    The situation was not helped by political instability
and the frequent suspension of democracy by military coups. During the civil
war, the very existence of our country was cast into doubt but through it all,
the promise of a Nigeria that is united, free and strong remained in our
people’s hearts.

15.    Thanks to the efforts of our statesmen and women, and
millions of ordinary Nigerians, the union endured and flourished.  I would
like to specifically commend members of the Armed Forces for their
contributions and sacrifices to keep Nigeria one.

16.    General Yakubu Gowon had the wisdom and grace to
declare that the civil war had seen “no victor, no vanquished” and welcomed,
“the dawn of national reconciliation”.

17.    It was in this spirit that General Olusegun Obasanjo
collected the instruments of surrender at the end of the war and later became
the first military ruler in our country to hand over power voluntarily to a
democratic government.

18.    While the Second Republic did not last, his fine
example was later followed by General Abdulsalam Abubakar who paved the way for
our current democratic dispensation which has lasted longer than the previous
three put together.

19.    As we celebrate our centenary, I believe that it is
vital that we focus our thoughts on the vast potentials of a unified and
progressive Nigeria; and build on the relative stability of the Fourth Republic
to achieve accelerated national socio-economic development.

20.    I also believe that the future greatness of our
country is assured by the favourable tail winds of a resilient population,
ecological diversity, rich natural resources and a national consciousness that
rises above our differences.

21.    We are a unique country. We have been brought together
in a union like no other by providence. Our nation has evolved from three
regions to thirty six states and a Federal Capital Territory.

22.    We have transited from the Parliamentary to a
Presidential system of government. We have moved our capital from the coastal
city of Lagos to Abuja, at the centre of our country.

23.    Today Abuja stands as a monument to our national
aspiration for greater unity; it symbolises our dream of a modern nation
unhinged from primordial cleavages and designed as a melting pot of our
24.    If, in our first century, we could build a new capital
city, we can surely build a newer, stronger, more united and prosperous Nigeria
in the next century that will be an authentic African success story.

25.    The whole world awaits this African success story. With
our sheer size, population, history, resilience, human and natural resources
and economic potentials, Nigeria is divinely ordained to lead the African

26.    That is why I am confident that in the next 100 years,
those who will celebrate Nigeria’s second centenary, will do so as a united,
prosperous and politically stable nation which is truly the pride and glory of
Africa and the entire black race.

27.    The key to the fulfilment of that vision is our
continued unity as a nation. Perhaps one of the most amazing stories of our
political evolution in the last hundred years is that an ordinary child of
ordinary parentage from a minority group has risen to occupy the highest office
in our country.

28.    As we march into the next hundred years, it is my hope
that mine will no longer be an extra-ordinary story but an accepted reality of
our democracy that every Nigerian child can pursue his or her dreams no matter
how tall; that every Nigerian child can aspire to any position in our country,
and will not be judged by the language that he speaks or by how he worships
God; not by gender nor by class; but by his abilities and the power of his

29.    I am proud and privileged to have been elected leader
of Nigeria and I consider it my solemn responsibility to act in the best
interest of the nation at all times.

30.    Dear compatriots, in line with the thoughts of that
great son of our continent, Nelson Mandela, let us not judge ourselves, and let
not the world judge us by how many times we have stumbled, but by how strongly
we have risen, every single time that we have faltered.

31.    Even as we remain resolute in our conviction that our
union is non-negotiable, we must never be afraid to embrace dialogue and strengthen
the basis of this most cherished union. A strong nation is not that which shies
away from those difficult questions of its existence, but that which confronts
such questions, and together provides answers to them in a way that guarantees
fairness, justice and equity for all stakeholders.

32.    My call for the National Conference in this first year
of our second century is to provide the platform to confront our challenges. I
am confident that we shall rise from this conference with renewed courage and
confidence to march through the next century and beyond, to overcome all
obstacles on the path to the fulfillment of our globally acknowledged potential
for greatness.

33.    I have referred to national leaders who did so much to
build our nation in the past hundred years but nation-building is not just a
matter for great leaders and elites alone.

34.    All Nigerians must be involved in this national
endeavour. From the threads of our regional, ethnic and religious diversities
we must continuously weave a vibrant collage of values that strengthen the
Nigerian spirit.

35.    The coming National Conference should not be about a
few, privileged persons dictating the terms of debate but an opportunity for
all Nigerians to take part in a comprehensive dialogue to further strengthen
our union.

36.    I am hopeful that the conference will not result in
parochial bargaining between competing regions, ethnic, religious and other
interest groups but in an objective dialogue about the way forward for our
nation and how to ensure a more harmonious balance among our three tiers of

37.    My dear compatriots, as we celebrate our centenary,
the security situation in some of our North-Eastern States, sadly remains a
major concern for us. Just yesterday, young students, full of hopes and dreams
for a great future, were callously murdered as they slept in their college
dormitories in Yobe State. I am deeply saddened by their deaths and that of
other Nigerians at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to their parents
and relatives, colleagues and school authorities.

38.    We will continue to do everything possible to
permanently eradicate the scourge of terrorism and insurgency from our
country.  We recognise that the root cause of militancy, terrorism and
insurgency is not the strength of extremist ideas but corrupted values and

39.    That is why our counter-terrorism strategy is not just
about enforcing law and order as we have equipped our security forces to do. It
also involves expanding economic opportunities, social inclusion, education and
other measures that will help restore normalcy not just in the short term, but

40.    I want to reassure Nigerians that terrorism, strife
and insecurity in any part of Nigeria are abhorrent and unacceptable to us. I
urge leaders throughout Nigeria to ensure that ethnicity and religion are not
allowed to become political issues.

41.    I hope and pray that one hundred years from now,
Nigerians will look back on another century of achievements during which our
union was strengthened, our independence was enhanced, our democracy was
entrenched and our example was followed by leaders of other nations whose
ambition is to emulate the success of Nigeria; a country that met its
difficulties head-on and fulfilled its promise.
42.    Finally, Dear Compatriots, as we enter a second
century in the life of our nation, let us rededicate ourselves to doing more to
empower the youth of our country. Our common heritage and future prosperity are
best protected and guaranteed by them. We must commit our full energies and
resources to empowering them to achieve our collective vision of greatness in
this second century of our nationhood.

43.    That is the task before our country; that is the cause
I have chosen to champion and I believe we will triumph.

44.    I wish all Nigerians happy Centenary celebrations.

45.    Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

46.       I thank you.

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3 Comments on "This Is The Full Text of President Jonathan’s Centenary Celebration Address"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Nice article Mr. President.

chiboy okere

Nice one presido

chiboy okere

Nice one


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