KADUNA- Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has said that Nigerians can address all national challenges facing the nation by submitting to good reason and dialogue.
Governor Akpabio, who was one of the five persons awarded doctoral degrees (honoris causa) by the Nigerian Defence Academy, weekend, spoke on behalf of the other honorees after the award.
Other honorees were, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Saád III; former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Senator Jubril Aminu; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke; and the National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi (rtd).
Governor Akpabio, whose degree was Doctor of Management Science (honoris causa), said that it was possible for Nigeria to “find a way out of the quagmire of ethnicity, and come out of the violence bedeviling the country, a stronger and better nation.”
He urged all Nigerians to rise up as one and fight the insecurity situation, which he said had replaced economic austerity as the main concern of Nigerians, with the same zeal that the founding fathers of Nigeria fought for and obtained independence for our country.
He stated that though Lord Lugard amalgamated Nigeria without the consent of the different ethnic nationalities, Nigerian should accept that “our union” was an unchangeable fact of life and put all their hands on deck to steer the nation to the “sunlit paths of prosperity, justice and unity.”
He expressed the regret of the honorees that they were honored “at a time when men and women trained by the Nigeria Defence Academy to defend the nation from external aggression, were involved in battles in our country to defend “our law-abiding Nigerians from law-breaking Nigerians” and when the cords of brotherhood have been strained by the truama of bomb explosions.”
Maintaining that the honorees, in the estimation of the NDA, typified the best aspirations for a united Nigeria, he noted that to whom much was given, much was expected and promised that they would rise up to the challenge.
President Goodluck Jonathan, and visitor to the NDA, said that perpetrators of violence should be told in clear terms that government would spare no effort in making it impossible for them to achieve their dastardly goal, adding that his administration “places premium interest on National Security, peace and development.”