lauds organizers of Award Winners’ Lecture
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, tasked Nigerians on positive attitudinal change by becoming patriotic and nationalistic in action.
Buhari stated this in his remarks at the 12th Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit held in Abuja, where he lauded organizers of the lecture with the theme, ‘The Missing Links in Twenty Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Think Tanks as Catalysts for Development’.
He also acknowledged the steady and continued growth made by the Forum in terms of rewarding excellence and showcasing inventions that have put the country on the global map of recognition for its contributions and impacts in the comity of nations.
He said: “I do not mince words when I say that this Award Winners’ Lecture is the most prestigious in the country, it is also the most credible. Since its inception, the Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit has continued to make steady growth in terms of rewarding excellence and showcasing inventions thereby bringing our great nation to the limelight.
“My years as President of this magnificent country has only succeeded in convincing me all the more that it would require men and women like these ones gathered here today, to move us to our next phase of being at the frontline of global restructuring and advancement.
“These indeed are men and women who will continually refuse to engage in all forms of mediocrity and stick to their guns no matter the challenges confronting them. They are gathered here, to enlighten us and collaborate with like minds on policies that will move us, as a nation, forward.
“The endless opportunities being harnessed by the NNMA cannot be overemphasized. The laureates being celebrated here today are well known for their productivity and intellectual might as they soar far above the hurdles of archaism and embrace fully, the gains of contemporary technology and refined art.
“The main focus of the Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) is to deliberate on salient issues of national interest, and as a result, create an enabling environment for the body of Laureates to channel views in policymaking thereby contribute to national discourse.
“Towards this end, notable changes, as well as positive reinforcement, will be birthed here today while getting rid of negative notions ascribed to education and scholarship in general. I must proudly say that the NNMA, through these forums, has been able to record innumerable successes and has made significant strides in their determined effort to make Nigeria the greatest nation in Africa and the world over.
“I would be saying nothing new if I said that your contributions have indeed inspired more zeal for continued learning, more passion for innovations and inventions and more love for our dear country.
“The chain reaction for growth and development has been sparked off and thanks to you my dear witty scholars, global acceptance and enterprise has been reignited. This would, in turn, make us the pride of this awesome continent.
“I urge us all as true patriots and nationalists, to adopt positive and attitudinal change in all our endeavors. Let me quote a renowned scholar Bo Bonet who once said, ‘Success is not what you have, but who you are’. With that, I would like to say that these scholars and game changers are without a doubt epitome of success who believe in the power of will, commitment, and hard work. They say yes to the doors of determination, selfless service, and loyalty. Loyalty to their dreams and aspirations, loyalty to their calling.”
Meanwhile, the President commended NNMA for bringing together “living legends and prolific contributors, men of character and high repute” and expressed optimism that deliberations during the meeting will be life-transforming and ignite the fire of change and tackling mediocrity and myopic thinking.
He also assured that government will on its part ensure that the communiqué of the 12th Forum is looked into and act accordingly.