By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A retired Nigerian Army General, Kingsley Suaka Nnaa, has declared a determination to fight for the success of The Nigeria Agenda through propagation of values that will engineer unity and citizens’ driven development in the country.
General Nnaa (rtd), made this declaration at the South-south zonal launch of The Nigeria Agenda in Port Harcourt on Monday, 14 February, 2022.
According to Nnaa, national cohesion, togetherness and unity are indispensable ingredients for national growth and development.
Speaking to the divisive effects of ethnicity and religion, Nnaa said:
“The greatest threatening factor to the nation’s cohesion are religion and ethnicity with the political class often using these divisive sentiments to win the sympathy of the people at every election season.”
Talking in the same vein, Chief Sam Jaja, an elders statesman and All Progressive Congress chieftain, said it was time Nigerians started jettisoning their inclinations for looking at politics from the prism of ethnicity and religion.
“We have been following this destructive path of ethnic and religious biases long before and since our independence as a country and it has contributed in many ways to stiffling our growth and development as a nation. We, as a people need to change our perception of one another and how we measure the attributes of those that lead us. Ethnicity and religion should not be the basis of supporting political office seekers.”
The Convener of the Group, Alhaji Ahmad Sajoh, in his address at the launch of The Nigeria Agenda, insisted there is no part of Nigeria that can be considered of little significance to the wellbeing and sustenance of the Nigerian nation. This, he noted, underscored the need for inclusiveness of all Nigerians in the Nigerian project.
“We all belong to a larger Nigeria family and must, as individual citizen, play our roles in holding the fabric that unify us as a people with shared vision and a commitment to making Nigeria a great country. So, while there are a plethora of groups and organisations orchestrating regional agenda like Southwest Agenda, North-east Agenda and other of such, it is clear Nigeria is abandoned in the scheme of things. This is one reason we have decided to speak for Nigeria.”
Chief Advocate of The Nigeria Agenda, Niyi Akinsiju, while speaking at the advocacy launch, called on Nigerians to eschew sentimental divisions that erode the basis of our unity.
“We should rise above the base sentiments that continue to hold us down and in doing this, we have to be suspicious of the intents of politicians that exploit these sentiments by planting seeds of discords and divisions amongst the people just for them to corner and secure political power.”
Julius Ogunro, Consultant to The Nigeria Agenda, who described Nigeria as a potentially great country with challenges that are surmountable, surmised that the bane of development of the country is leadership deficiency.
“Leadership is the most singular and important factor in changing the Nigerian narratives. Therefore, the people must develop capacity to identify and support the right quality of leaders as we approach 2023.” He said.
Adding his voice to the call for a people’s inspired leadership, National Leader and Chief Mobiliser of the National Prosperity Movement, one of the Civil Society Organisations that adopted the advocacy template of The Nigeria Agenda, Chief Jerry Nwohu, said his group would mobilise at the grassroots to ensure the impartation of the ideals of The Nigeria Agenda so that the masses can own the values inherent in The Nigeria Agenda.