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 heritage.
  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 realize 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 traveled for a century, we are not yet at our destination of greatness.

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