Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has declared that the nation would be better off if merit is allowed to drive the processes of electing public office holders just as he advised Nigerian youths to champion only those causes that would promote national unity and peace.
Uzodimma made these declarations at the Government House, Owerri, when he received in audience the Coalition of Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders of Nigeria who paid him a courtesy visit.
He lauded them for the bold initiative of forming a united, cross-cultural and non-ethnic nationality association that cuts across the six political zones of the federation solely for the purpose of enhancing peace, co-habitation and national unity.
On rotational presidency and the challenge of nation building, Uzodimma enjoined the National Chairman/Leader of the coalition, Muhammad Danlami and members of his group to shun politics of tribal sentiment and ethnic colouration, which he said tend to pitch Nigerians against one another, adding that what Nigeria needs most is a strong and united country where diversity in culture and ethnicity is a source of strength not division.
“I will rather see a situation where merit is allowed to drive the process of determining who occupies a public office in the county rather than where you come from. I think merit should drive the political process because the nation will be better off for it. We must use our diversity to strengthen national unity not to divide the nation. We should find unity in our diversity by believing in each other,” the governor declared
He reminded the youth leaders drawn from Igbo (Ohanaeze), Arewa (Hausas/Fulani), Oduduwa (Youruba), Idoma (Benue), Ijaw (Bayelsa), and other parts of the country of the challenges the country faced in the recent past that threatened the unity and sovereignty of her existence and thanked President Muhammad Buhari for exhibiting courage and competence in handling all the challenges.
He charged the youths to always support the Federal Government under President Buhari, who he described as the most youth-friendly president so far in the country, saying that in spite of all challenges, he has given the youths a sense of belonging through several forms of empowerment such as N-Power, employment, political appointments, agric loan, skills and youth fund initiative.
He advised the youths against allowing themselves to be used by politicians and mischief-makers as political thugs to destroy the nation they are bound to inherent and lead in future.
Earlier in his address, Danlami explained that the organisation was formed to foster and promote peace and unity among the existing ethnic nationality youth groups in the country to encourage inter-cultural and religious tolerance, as well as to support the programmes and policies of the government for national development.