Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged Nigerians not to compromise the country’s unity as its strength lay in citizens’ collective bond.
Okowa made the call in his remark at a state banquet in honour of members of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures at their 2021 Second Quarter General Meeting in Asaba, on Saturday.
He said that the country was facing serious challenges that required leaders to preach hope to the people and ensure that the unity of the nation was not breached.
He stated that there was need for dialogue on how to ensure fairness and equity in the governance of the country.
According to Okowa, there is need for leaders to give hope to the people because if the leaders begin to lose hope in the nation, the followers will be in trouble.
He stated that at critical times as was currently prevailing in the country, people in sensitive positions, including Speakers of legislatures, were required to truly help to build the nation.
“In very trying times such as this, we must ensure that we continue to give hope to our people and that we continue to do the very little that we can even in our various constituencies because a little hope can encourage those who would have felt helpless.
“We need to continue to pray for our country, Nigeria and we need to realise that the unity of this country is important to us all and that everything that ought to be done we will continue to stay focused in doing those things that will keep this country united.
“But, I also believe that for everyone of us in government, as we continue to preach unity, we must be sincere about it; we must ensure that there is fairness and equity and we must stay committed to the original principles that brought us together.
“We are one people in this country and I believe that the strength of Nigeria lies in our collective responsibility because in that truly lies our strength.
“There are so many things that ought to be discussed, but we are not discussing yet; there is a need for a true dialogue even when people tend to misconstrue it when we speak about dialogue.
“It’s not about coming to quarrel, it’s about protecting the inside of us so that we can become greater brothers for the future and I think that it’s important we understand that when we speak that it’s not about division but about unity.
“It’s about how we can begin to love ourselves and about how we can become more participatory in the totality of the governance of this nation and it is in the best interest of this nation,” he said.
The governor remarked that Nigerians loved the country and we wished to remain united, and advised that the things that will make us stronger, “we need to discuss them so that we can stay together and build a nation that our children can be proud of.
“We cannot continue as a nation where everybody, particularly the professionals, are thinking about going outside the country; it cannot continue to be so.
“We are in tough times but leaders must stand up to think for the people and as you return to your various states, please carry along with you the message of hope that it is well with this country and there is great hope for the future.”
Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, Rt Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, commended Governor Okowa for his passion in the development of Delta.
“I congratulate Deltans for the kind of Governor God gave to them because we have gone round and have seen a lot of developmental projects across the state.
“I am not surprised because he is a legislator and a parliamentarian and because a state where the Governor respects the other arms of government, particularly the legislature, will definitely benefit from the partnership between both arms of government.
“We went round and we have seen a lot of your projects and we saw developments everywhere. When resources are matched with the resolve to work for the people, the result is development.
“We will make your keynote speech a template and a model of executive-legislature relations in the country. We appreciate you for all that you have done to make our stay memorable,” he said.
In separate remarks, Speakers of Houses of Assembly of Enugu, Kogi, Ogun, Katsina and Taraba all commended Governor Okowa for his outstanding accomplishments in Delta and urged him to continue in his service to the state and country.
They stressed that the Governor had exemplified and demonstrated that the principles of separation of power could be sustained without one man lording it over others.
“You are indeed a role model and we have seen vision in you and we know that God will reward you for your great services to your state and country,” they said.
The host Speaker and Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, thanked Governor Okowa for agreeing to host the conference.
He stated that the Assembly was committed to partnering him to build a Stronger Delta.
He commended his brother Speakers for coming to Delta and urged them to remain committed to the growth and development of the country.