President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark, Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Wada, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were among those who expressed optimism for a brighter Nigeria in 2013, despite the numerous challenges facing the nation.
President Jonathan declared yesterday that he would not be deterred by those who had made it their duty to pick holes in every effort his administration was making to move the country forward.
According to him, commitment to the rule of law, due process and fair play in all circumstances remained his watchword, even as he said that democracy would continue to wax strong in the country.
The president was apparently reacting to criticisms by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on Sunday, in which the party accused his government of deceit and lies, and being in the habit of overstating its achievements.
In a statement by the ACN national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party had also slammed the president's men for defending a government that is wallowing in corruption, even as it described government's claims of fixing Nigeria's moribund power sector, unemployment, insecurity, among others, as tissues of lies.
But in his New Year message to the country, Jonathan said such blatant criticism of his government would not derail his vision for the country.
According to Jonathan, "we will refuse to be discouraged by those who have taken it upon themselves to pick on every initiative and effort of this administration. We remain resolutely committed to the rule of law, due process and fair play in all circumstances.
"Our democracy continues to grow, and the scope for human freedom continues to expand. It is an achievement that we will continue to build upon. I say it again: we are determined to continue to push forward. We will do more, not less. We will remain focused."
The president had a request for all Nigerians: "For your part, dear compatriots, I urge that you all include in your New Year resolutions a commitment to do more this year to support the implementation of the federal government's agenda for national transformation in every possible way. That is all I ask for."
He noted that nation building was a collective task and not for government alone.
"Leaders and followers alike have critical roles to play in our march towards the fulfilment of our great national potentialities. Let us all, therefore, resolve as we celebrate the new year to place the higher interests of national unity, peace, stability and progress above all other considerations, and work harder in our particular fields of human endeavour to contribute more significantly to the attainment of our collective aspirations," he said.
Jonathan further felicitated with countrymen who survived the turbulent outgoing year and made it to the new year which, he proclaims, would be a better one for the nation.
"I join you all in giving thanks to God Almighty for bringing us and our beloved nation safely through the past year to the beginning of 2013 which, by His Grace, will be a much better year for us and our country," he said.
"In keeping with tradition, it is usual for individuals, institutions and organizations to make resolutions and set agenda as a new year begins, to guide their actions in the coming months.
He went on to state his administration's resolution for the new year, which is to uplift the living conditions of the people.
"Our objective for the year is to ensure, by all possible means, that more of the programmes and projects envisioned by this administration, and which are already being embarked upon, are further brought on stream within the next 12 months to meet the yearnings of our people, and raise the quality of life," the president asserted.
"We had, in the last year, achieved a lot in terms of the positive transformation of vital sectors of our national life such as public infrastructure, power supply, oil and gas, transportation, education, health and agricultural development.
"We will continue to work diligently in 2013 to ensure that our efforts in these areas are carried forward to full fruition in fulfilment of our promise of better public services and improved living conditions for all Nigerians.
"We will give priority attention in the coming year to flood and erosion control, the rehabilitation and expansion of existing federal roads, improved power supply, as well as the continued rehabilitation, upgrading and reactivation of the national rail network.
"Employment generation and wealth creation will also remain a primary objective of our socio-economic agenda for 2013. In this regard, we will continue to provide the necessary enabling environment for the private sector to thrive."
On security, President Jonathan also gave assurance that his regime would empower the security agencies, working in collaboration with international partners, to stem the scourge of terrorism in the country and enhance the security of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.
Be party to successful Nigeria -Mark
Senate President David Mark has enjoined Nigerians to continue to partner with those in elective offices in order to take the country out of its present circumstances.
Senator Mark, in his New Year message to Nigerians yesterday, noted that Year 2012 was very challenging, but that Nigerians triumphed by their resolve to remain an indivisible nation.
"We went through a very challenging year," he noted, "but collectively we kept hope of a brighter tomorrow. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
The Senate president re-echoed President Jonathan's earlier comment that government alone could not achieve much without input from the people.
"Those in elected offices cannot bring forth this light alone. Government alone, without the support of the citizenry, cannot build a society where everyone is free and safe without fear of any form of violence," he said.
New Year: PDP calls for attitudinal change
The ruling Peoples Democratic Change (PDP) has said there must be complete change in attitude amongst Nigerians if the nation is to move to the next level.
The party, in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, lamented dwindling patriotism among Nigerians, stating that the major pre-occupation of the party in 2013 would be to engender positive attitudinal change among the people, adding that 'leaders and the led must seek the face of God.'
According to him, "Our vote for attitudinal change in 2013 is informed by the simple fact that the commonest denominator of the systemic challenges facing our national growth is the dwindling fervour of patriotism on which our founding fathers laid the foundation of our dear nation. The adverse implications of this have been manifest in the various ills that retard our movement to greatness."
He acknowledged that the task of engendering the reformation rested with the ruling party.
"As the party entrusted with the mandate of the people, the onus is on us to show the light, so that the way will be made perfectly clear to them.
"All our members elected and appointed into positions of authority at all levels now have a double responsibility of meeting up with the performance target we have already set, as well as lead the way with exemplary conduct in this course of value change," he said.
Wada promises infrastructure development in 2013
Kogi State Governor Captain Idris Wada has pledged to work assiduously towards building critical infrastructure across the state this year.
Wada who gave this hint through his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, in his New Year message, called on the people to tap into his transformation agenda in order to enjoy the dividend of democracy.
The governor noted that his holistic plan of action for the state would exceed the expectations of the people, and that this year would be the birth of his dream for the state.
According to him, "After planning since I assumed office, we are now set to release the results. We are committed to infrastructure transformation of the state. I urge all our people to support the government, as we are ready to build the infrastructure of our dreams," Wada said.
While thanking the people of the state for their support to the administration, he called on them to live in peace with one another in order to create the right environment for sustainable development in the state.
Tackle corruption genuinely in 2013, Belgore tasks FG
The Kwara State ACN governorship candidate in the 2011 polls, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), has urged the federal government to be true to the fight against corruption and to give Nigerians a sense of belonging in the New Year with positive leadership.
Belgore said in a New Year message yesterday that "the outgone 2012 cannot be said to be an eventful one for Nigerians, be it in the areas of security, job opportunities, economic empowerment, power, road network and other basic infrastructure required to give citizens a sense of belonging and pride.
"To this end, the government needs to first of all admit these failures and then move in urgently to do the right thing in the New Year," he said.
The politician also admonished the PDP government in Kwara State to "behave more responsibly and govern in the best interest of the people."
Nigeria has not fared well under Jonathan, says Afenifere
A Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), has carpeted the PDP-led federal government, saying the country has not fared better under President Jonathan.
At an end of the year media briefing in Lagos yesterday, the group stated that the country had not made progress under the current government, especially in 2012.
The group also called on the president to redress perceived marginalisation of the Yoruba ethnic nationality in the nation's current political loop as a means of ensuring equity and fairness.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the national chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, said rather than the country witnessing development, it has been a victim of such massive corruption never seen in the history of the country.
Fashola urges Nigerians to be security conscious
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has implored Nigerians to be very vigilant about their personal safety.
In his New Year message, the governor called for a sustained watchfulness and compliance to law and order, which represents the measure of the civilisation of every society.
He affirmed that such inclination was the only way society could identify and put pressure on the few people who make life difficult for the majority.