Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has lamented what he described as daily attack on the National Consciousness is being attacked on a daily basis. “This,” he said, “is a great national pain.”
Speaking at his inauguration as Governor of Ondo State for a second term at the International Centre for Culture and Events (The Dome), Igbatoro Road, Akure on Tuesday, Akeredolu regretted that “rather than our nation, Nigerians are more inclined to ethnic nationalism.
We have resorted to clannish satisfaction in place of nation building. We are gradually and unconsciously replacing national patriotism with sectional activism.”
Rather than blame anyone for this unfortunate state of affairs, the Ondo Governor faulted the flawed structure of the country. He said, “Our very faulty and twisted federalism is responsible.”
He posited that things were so bad that “even those with palpable national passion and patriotism are today, gradually tilting to the unintended ethnic nationality cabin. Most Nigerians are losing faith in our ‘Unity in Diversity’ sloganeering.
He however noted that all hope was not lost. “There is an opportunity,” he said, “to restore national consciousness through True Federalism, which he declared hurts none, but pays all.
In part, Akeredolu’s speech was a reaction to the Inaugural Lecture delivered by President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina which he labelled a Document of Hope.
Commenting on the Adesina lecture, Akeredolu noted. “Today has been a very thrilling one of delightful moments. Moments of self-appraisal that have further lit up our hopes and brightened our collective minds.
The day has indeed, provided yet another path for national self-reassessment by the vintage Dr Akinwunmi Adesina. We salute you. Like many others here and even beyond, I am particularly not surprised by your very brilliant and scholarly submissions and delivery that are laced with passion for a new Nigeria.
Truly, you have, among others, provided yet another bastion for national fortification, cohesion just as you have laid a fresher path to unity in our land. Your treatise is nothing but the Document of Hope for a better tomorrow.
But we are more than convinced, hopeful, full of confidence, and enthused beyond doubts that our today desires the contents of your lecture for a better tomorrow because our yesterday ignored it.
Without necessarily repeating the contents of your Document of Hope, I am not inclined to joining the incurable pacifists who have found no comfort in a fading National Consciousness. Our National Consciousness is being attacked on a daily basis.
This is a great national pain. Rather than our ntion, Nigerians are more inclined to ethnic nationalism.”
Insecurity, according to Akeredolu is the most potent threat to national belief. “We have allowed a sustained, non-beneficial stagnation for too long in our approach, the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring.
The time to act is now, not tomorrow. As leaders, the choices we make create the path to our desires. We cannot pretend that all is well when indeed, more things are going wrong.”
Citing an example of the approach adopted by the South-western states, the Ondo Governor who is the Chairman of the Forum of South-west Governors explained that it “is not targeted at any ethnic nationality or business.
But we are against criminality and we shall fight criminality with every legal means. It is in the interest of our collective wellbeing.
All we require is the support and understanding of all federating units, including the Federal Government. The simple truth is that we have lived in self-denial amid an excruciating pain that is almost cancerous now.
Notwithstanding our challenges today, my firm belief in the Nigerian Project is strengthened by my own fact of a true Nigerian.
That I desire a more united Nigeria with every ingredient of freedom, rule of law, patriotism, love, mutual respect and harmony is an understatement. And I am prepared to fight for it legitimately for the benefit of all.”
Akeredolu expressed happiness at the presence of the Chairman, National Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Governor of Yobe State, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni.
Your Excellency and other vLued guests. He assured everyone that “these disturbing moments are surmountable if only we can be patriotic and courageous enough to confront them through the lens of dynamism.”
Akeredolu’s speech was a reaction to the Inaugural Lecture delivered by President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina which he labelled a Document of Hope.