We need to love our country – Adesina
By Bolaji Buhari
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says patriotic zeal of citizens is very important to national development.
Adesina spoke in Lagos on Thursday, at the 2nd anniversary of Global Patriot Newspapers, an online newspaper.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture, which also featured awards, was “Patriotism, Untapped Potentials and National Development”.
“We need to love our country even when things are tough. We do not have any other country to call our own,” Adesina said.
He pointed out that no country developed without the patriotic zeal of citizens, noting that patriotism is also an ingredient for nationalism.
The Special Adviser said the Buhari administration was taking practical steps at realising the Nigerian dream.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with human and material potential. Unfortunately, the Nigerian dream had been deferred for too long.
“We now have an administration that is determined to explore and exploit the country’s potential for greatness.
“That is why we are talking about diversification and all that, and we are beginning to see some movements in agriculture, solid minerals and other critical areas.
“We also have Economic Recovery Growth Plan Programme to place the economy on the path of progress and grow the GDP,” he said.
Adesina, however, said the task of building the Nigeria of everyone‘s dream was not a task for the administration alone, but the concerted efforts of all Nigerians.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations, to move in the same development direction with the current administration.
The Special Adviser identified nepotism, fake news, hate speeches as some of the impediments to development, urging citizens to shun them.
Also, former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, said there was the need for leaders to inspire patriotism through good governance.
He said the neglect of people by successive leaderships had made the people not to believe in the country.
“The people are hopeless because successive leaders have neglected them; that is why we are having these patriotism issues in the country.
“We need leaders that will sacrifice for the people and inspire them to greatness. We need leaders who will extract patriotism from the people through good governance,” Obi said.
He urged Nigerian leaders to rise up to the challenge of leadership by inspiring hope in the led.
Obi said the development strides of countries such as China were not by accident, but by visionary leadership.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, said leaders had more responsibility to instill patriotism in the led.
Ohuabunwa, former Managing Director of Pfizer Nigeria, urged leaders to deliver the goods to promote patriotism.
Leader of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland designate, Mr Gani Adams called for the restructuring of the economy.
Represented by OPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, Adams said restructuring holds the key to the country‘s development.
Also present at the occasion were Group Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, Mr Idonije Obakhedo of News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who represented the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Mr. Steve Nwosu, a celebrated Columnist and Deputy Managing Director of the Sun Newspapers Group, Mr. Tony Okonedo, who represented the Nigeria LNG Ltd., Chioma Okolie, who represented Airtel Nigeria, Chiefs Ziggy Azike and Goddy Uwazuruike (both Barristers), prominent activist, Ayo Obe, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, who represented the Federal Road Safety, FRSC, Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, a representative of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a representative of Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, boss of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Ego Mbagwu, a former Director of Nigerian Television Authority, NTA International and Mr. Chidi Agbapu, CEO/MD Equity Capital Market.
The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, was represented by the Secretary General, Victoria Ibanga and Ray Echebiri, Treasurer (who are also Online Publishers), the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, was out in full force, led by the President of the Guild, Dotun Oladipo, Vice President Maureen Chigbo, Financial Secretary, Segun Adeleye and Publicity Secretary, Olumide Iyanda.
Other Online Publishers present include, Gabriel Akinadewo, Seyi Fasugba, Chijama Ogbu, Remmy Nweke, Azu Amatus, Casmir Igbokwe and Malagu of The Newsroom.
Mazi Ohuabunwa received a special plaque for perfectly steering the ceremony as Chairman while Mr. Obi was honoured as Patriot Man of the Year for being a model of good governance while in office as Governor and a crusader for pro-people leadership since leaving office.
Dr. Ogunbiyi received the Patriot Award of ICON of the Insurance Industry, the NLNG received the Best Nigerian Global Company Award, Airtel Nigeria was honoured for Excellence in CSR, the EFCC Acting Chairman received the Award of Excellence in Public Service while Mr. Olusegun Awolowo was honoured for his efforts in the export promotion campaign.