President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, urged traditional rulers to continue to build bridges of unity among Nigerians through festivities and customs across the country.
Buhari, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said this at the First Grand Ofala Festival of Igwe Maduabuchukwu Nevobasi, the Traditional Ruler of Agunese Mmaku Community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The President said that the sustenance of unity and understanding by traditional rulers remained a strong indicator of the indivisibility of the country.
He assured that the country would continue to remain one, while Federal Government continued to explore opportunities that bond Nigerians together.
He added that “I am delighted for two main reasons. One, the honour was unsolicited and Two, it came outside my ethnic stock.
“So, it shows that in Nigeria, we are one. No matter what, this country would remain one.”
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State thanked the traditional ruler for the chieftaincy title bestowed on Mr President.
Ugwuanyi said that the chieftaincy title would bond Mr President and the community and state together, as well as further cement the oneness of the country.
In a welcome address, Igwe Nevobasi said that the Ofala was grand as the chieftaincy council gave approval for honouring of Nigerians from three major ethnic tribes in the country – Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.
He said “the title was part of our contribution toward supporting one Nigeria and unity in the country.
“We also pray for our president, governors and our leaders in various positions of authourity to ensure unity in the country.”
The traditional ruler thanked guests for honouring his invitation, as well as the people of Agunese Mmaku for their support for the success of the Ofala festival.
Highlights of the occasion were the conferment of chieftaincy title on 12 distinguished Nigerians from the Northern, Western and Eastern parts of the country including Mr President, Gov. Ugwuanyi and Mr Femi Adesina.
President Muhammadu Buhari was conferred with the title of “Isi Mmiri Mmaku’’; while Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was conferred with “Enyi Oha 1 of Mmaku’’ and Mr Femi Adesina was conferred with “Nwannedinamba nke Mmaku’’.