The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerian leaders to govern effectively and use power wisely, saying that was the only way to safeguard the citizens’ interest.
Besides, he challenged Nigerians to show more love for the fatherland by rising above tribe, ethnic, religious and political persuasions, with a view to subordinating them to the overriding interest of the country.
According to Ekweremadu who spoke on Wednesday at the public presentation of a book, “Who will Love my Country,” which he authored, to love Nigeria, would entail Nigerians to critically revise and reexamine their attitudes, values, and how they treat one another, adding that “it demands of us some sacrifice.”
His words: “Are we going to bequeath to them a banner stained by corruption, bad governance, ineffective leadership, ethnicity, slacking moral values, decadence, mediocrity, and sloth? God forbid!”, stressing that Nigeria needed to return to the path of progress and unity charted by the founding fathers.
He said: “If you are on a journey and you find out that you are travelling the wrong road, the right thing to do is to turn back and take the right path.
“We must be ready to surrender our perceived narrow advantages to the general good. We must let go, for unless you release the man you are holding to the ground, you would not also be able to move an inch. Now is the time to offer one another a hand of comradeship and together we can move to the Promised Land”, he added.
He reiterated the fact that he wrote the book, not as Deputy President of the Senate, nor as a card carrying member of any political party, but as a patriotic Nigerian, who was concerned about Nigeria’s future, adding: “I lay no claims to having the solutions to Nigeria’s problems; I simply want to challenge and inspire Nigerians to rise above ethnic, partisan and selfish interests and focus more on how to build a better country for us and our children.”
Ekweremadu, further charged Nigerian Leaders to “show fidelity to democratic imperatives of accountability and transparency, respect the laws of the land and respect the rights and liberties of citizens.
“Nobody can save or help Nigeria but Nigerians. As Timi Dakolo rightly points out in his thought-provoking song, Great Nation, ‘We are all we have’. That is the message of this book. There is no problem Nigerians cannot solve if we act in good faith, guided by the nation’s best interest.
At the event, where a minute silence, at the behest of Ekweremadu, was observed in honour of those who were killed in Uzo Uwani in Enugu State as well as other parts of the country, the Deputy President of the Senate said “the sad incident further reinforces the need for this book and the ideas espoused in in the book”.
“The primary responsibility of government is the security of lives and properties of the citizens. We must rethink our security system to serve us better”, he declared.
The book presentation, which had in attendance a retinue of serving and former governors, ministers, party leaders, federal lawmakers, across political divides, was chaired by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), while President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was the Special Guest of Honour.
It also recorded a high turn out of members of the academia, diplomatic corps, and the civil society.