The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to shun any form of agitation that threatens the unity of the country, saying the space known as Nigeria would outlive everyone of us and that it would be a haven of peace, unity and progress when each of the 200 million people treats every living moment as an ethical one where everybody abhors evil.
Aregbesola made the call at his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), South West Zone, held in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the weekend.
“With the challenges we face in Nigeria today, I see an opportunity for us not to break up or break down but to break open; open up to ourselves in truth so that we may appreciate each other, understand each other, honour each other and live together in peace and prosperity,” he said.
According to him: “The call for separation is expensive and can be disruptive. It takes a great toll on development. The creative energy and scarce resources of the people calling for separation are dissipated in what may turn out to be a fruitless effort. Some of the agitations have been going on for centuries and they are not closer to it than they were at the beginning.”
The Minister who said Nigeria’s unity was being tested in ways it has never been, noted further that the nation today needed men and women of character and of honour, in the mould of the founding fathers.
“Nigeria needs citizens who are ready to make the appropriate sacrifices for the nation and for humanity,” he stressed.
Ogbeni Aregbesola, while using Somalia as an example, added that he I evolved in the epoch of pan-Africanism and black nationalism, therefore frowned at the use of ethnicity as a basis for the development of space and people.
“More importantly, solution to our differences and problems arising from disunity will be found only in a conscious effort by all of us to make fundamentally ethical every moment of our lives. By this I mean every one of us must live by the credo that our world, our Nigeria will be at peace when each person sees himself or herself in the other and vows to shun evil against one another,” Aregbesola reiterated.
He stated further that, those who take the precipitate action of resorting to armed conflict often plunged their land and people to ruin from which there may not be an exit option. “Nations are often locked in civil wars of mutually assured destruction in which peradventure one side wins, the victory will turn to ashes because the cost of victory is the loss of everything that was fought for,” the Minister emphasised.
While thanking the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), South-West Zone for the Honour bestowed on him as the Grant Patron of the Association, said his relationship with the media has been long.
Earlier in his remarks, the Zonal Secretary of the NUJ, Mr. Bamigbola Gbolagunte said Aregbesola’s accessibility to Journalists, contributions to the media industry, his outstanding performance while serving as the governor of Osun State, among others, earned him the award.
For: Director (Press & PR)
28th March, 2021