Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said that the solution to Nigeria’s challenges lies in the unity of all the ethnic nationalities in the country.
To this end, the Governor called on all the ethnic groups in the country to always encourage and promote a smooth transition from ethnonationalism to a state where the interests of the country would be the ultimate focus.
Akeredolu, who made the call on Tuesday during a public lecture organized by the state government to mark this year’s Democracy Day, expressed the conviction that the citizens’ hope for national development could only be realized when unity is promoted by the country’s various ethnic groups.
Describing the theme of the lecture “Nigerian Unity: The Challenges, Prospects and the Way Forward”, which was delivered by a former member of the House of Representatives and past National President, Association of Nigeria Authors, Dr. Wale Okediran as apt, the Governor urged Nigerians to come together.
Akeredolu recalled that the choice to promote the nation’s unity was made a long time ago by the independence nationalists.
The Governor, praising what he described as the uncommon sacrifice of the departed and the living for their contribution to the enthronement of democracy in the country, asked Nigerians not to ignore the lessons which past political experiences had taught.
While pointing out that the task of the nation-building might appear arduous, he expressed hope that the challenges were surmountable.
While also allaying fears over the country’s present security challenges, Akeredolu said the unpleasant situation was being tackled headlong by the Buhari administration.
According to him, the painful but necessary decision taken by the administration was gradually restoring confidence in citizens.
“Despondency must yield to hope. Our survival as a people depends, to a large extent, on our collaborative efforts,” the Governor stated.
“This choice was made a long time ago by the nationalists who preceded us. They worked at it and faltered. We have risen from the fall to continue the journey to a truly representative government after the military interregnum. We must be prepared to see it through,” he stressed.
The Governor said that his administration had taken a cue from the purposeful leadership of the Federal Government.
“We are convinced that the only realistic measure for the attainment of the status of a self-reliant society is by production of goods and services.
“This administration believes that any aspiration towards development must keep the people in focus. We have been able, in spite of paucity of funds, to bridge the infrastructural gap, considerably.
“We encourage our people to embrace agriculture. We advocate a functional educational system which will arrest the embarrassing situation which ensures that our young ones are not engaged productively. We are engaging the youth as partners in the development project,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, chairman of the occasion, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, commended Akeredolu for putting together the event, describing Akeredolu as a man who believes in the unity of the country.
While applauding the theme of the lecture, which he said was most appropriate for the season, Mamora asked Nigerians to work together and ensure the building of a nation in which everyone would see one another as one big family.