BEING REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR BEN B. M. OKOYEN AT THE “VIRTUAL” INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PATRIOTISM, SECURITY, GOVERNANCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANISED BY GLOBAL PATRIOT NEWSPAPERS IN COLLABORATION WITH CONSULATE GENERAL OF NIGERIA IN NEW YORK AND NIDO NEW JERSEY CHAPTER.
It is my singular honour to welcome His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all other dignitaries who accepted to attend this important Conference on Patriotism, Security, Governance and National Development in Nigeria, being convened by Global Patriot Newspapers in collaboration with the Nigeria Consulate in New York and the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey Chapter.
This Conference is an attempt to seek answers to the questions about the wrong perception of people about Nigeria and concerning the attitude of many Nigerians towards this great country. It is also to admit, that unlike many other countries, however, the attitude of many of our nationals to their fatherland is less than salutary or positive. It is an attempt to identify the issues influencing such attitudes and what must be done to redress the situation for the good of all.
The Media has a major role to play in this task of shaping the attitude of Nigerians towards a passionate and uncompromising love for their country. While we commend the positive contributions of the Media to National Development thus far, we must encourage the Fourth Estate of the Realm to do much more especially in the areas of National Security and Governance towards mobilizing ALL Nigerians to join hands, as Patriots, irrespective of partisan considerations, ethnic, religious or social differences, to solve the Security and Governance challenges of the country for more accelerated National Development.
We truly appreciate the patriotic physical (Virtual) presence of His Excellency the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the Special Guest of honour in this event with other Key Speakers and all other dignitaries attending this Conference. I appreciate your love for Nigeria! It is our hope that at the end of this Conference, a new spirit of Patriotism will have been ignited that will help the country overcome its challenges and attain its full potential.
The Consulate General in New York is always happy to partner with any Nigerian organizations, such as the Global Patriot Newspapers, in the USA to organize programmes aimed at the development of our dear nation. It is therefore my hope that the outcome of this Conference will contribute to building a better Nigerian society.
No President can make progress with development of a nation if its citizens are unpatriotic. The Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated its desire to implement policies that advance National Development. However, it will be almost impossible to achieve the desired level of National Development without Patriotism, peace and Security.
It is the obligation of all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to be patriotic to their homeland. High level of patriotism should be demonstrated through upholding the rule of law and respect for constituted authority and the institutions of government. I call on Nigerians to be the change agent by being patriotic in our daily life.
I thank you.