The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called on those exploiting the diversity of Nigeria to turn it into strength for the good of all citizens advising that the country is better left united.
Abiodun, who made the call at a Colloquial Zoom Meeting to mark the State’s 45th Anniversary, said it is unfortunate that some people in the country were stoking the embers of the disintegration of the nation through violence.
Abiodun advised that though Nigeria was made of diverse ethnic nationalities, it is imperative to harness all the potentials and strengths of each of the groups for the good of all.
He said: ‘Let us also use the occasion of the 45th Anniversary of our dear State to appeal to the rest of Nigerians. We must eschew all forms of violence and learn to live together. We must also appreciate that there can be no development in an atmosphere of insecurity.
‘We must learn to manage our diversity and turn it into our strength. We must not encourage those stoking the embers of violence for the disintegration of our great Nation.
‘A country where tribes and tongues may differ but stands in brotherhood is where unity in our diversity thrives. We all have duties, responsibilities, and obligations to aid a better understanding of our local and national realities. All we need to do is manage our differences effectively and efficiently and Nigeria will be greater’, he counselled.
Abiodun, while urging the rest of the country to take a cue from Ogun, noted that the State had been able to direct the potentials and strength of its over 10 sub-ethnic groups for the benefit of the State, adding that its diversity has been one of the major forces propelling the development of the State.
‘Today, Ogun State is the home to not just indigenes of our dear State, but people from diverse backgrounds all over the country and even to a lot of foreigners. Yes, I agree there may be reasons for us to disagree on certain issues of our essentials. But, we will only disagree to agree and move forward.
‘A country where tribes and tongues may differ but stand in brotherhood is where unity in our diversity thrives’, he emphasized.
He maintained that Nigerians have duties, responsibilities, and obligations to aid better understanding of the nation’s local and national realities, saying all that was needed was to manage the differences effectively and efficiently, and Nigeria will be greater.
The Governor observed that with a humble beginning in 1976, the State has grown to become one of the most viable State in Nigeria, having the fastest growing investment and commercial destination not only in Nigeria, the whole of West African sub-region, attracting one of the highest Foreign Direct Investment and local investment.
From one University in 1982, Abiodun noted that the State is now the education capital of Nigeria with about 26 Tertiary Institutions, blazing the trail in agriculture as one of the biggest producers of cassava and poultry in Nigeria, the biggest producer Rice in Western Nigeria, and one of the biggest producers of other food and cash crops in the country.
He appreciated the founding fathers and mothers whose efforts led to the creation of the State as well as the zeal of pioneer public servants transferred from Western region, who commuted daily from Ibadan to Abeokuta for contributing to the making and sustenance of the State in its present form, maintaining that without their sacrifices, good faith and great passion, ‘the State would have been a mere geographical expression’.
While assuring that he would continue on the path of the founding fathers, Prince Abiodun restated the commitment of his administration to continue deploying resources towards ensuring a conducive environment for all the people to discover and nurture their potentials, irrespective of their age, gender, status and location.
He enjoined the people to look back as proud inheritors of worthy legacies, saying his administration would continue to put Ogun State on the top amongst the comity of States in Nigeria, calling for meaningful contributions and cooperation from individuals and corporate organizations to building a viable future, as a government could not do it alone.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK