The immediate past Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara has tasked youths on the value of patriotism.
Mr Dogara said that the greatness Nigeria yearns for, would only manifest when citizens place premium on the pursuit of freedom rather than the pursuit of personal happiness.
Support for Nigeria
He therefore, urged the youth, as future leaders to support Nigeria at all times.
He was speaking at the 8th and 9th Convocation Ceremony of Achievers University, in Owo, Ondo State where he was also conferred with an Honorary Doctoral Degree of Law and installed as the Chancellor of the University.
Congratulating the graduands, he said; “As you leave this hallowed academic ground, I admonish you to take to heart, two things Mark Twain, the father of American literature once said. The first will help you to realise and release the genius in you and the other will help our country in our quest to deepen governance.
“The first is, ‘A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read’. The second was his definition of patriotism: ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
The former speaker said Nigerians must learn to be patriotic for the country to assume its rightful position in the comity of Nations.
“Nigeria needs true patriots – those who will place premium on the pursuit of freedom rather than the pursuit of happiness. This is true if Nigeria would be a great country, especially now that demagogues who are immune to the norms of established society litter the political landscape,” he stated.
Mr Dogara also felicitated with his fellow honorary doctoral degree awardees, saying that honouring them is in recognition of their “little achievements and contributions to the Nigeria project and humanity in general.”
He challenged Nigerians to take the honour as a call for greater service, saying, “We must continue to work hard until we achieve the Nigerian state of our dream.”
Mr Dogara was the Speaker of 8th House of Representative.
The pioneer chancellor of Achievers University, Dr Bode Olajumoke, said that the choice of the former speaker and other award recipients was purely based on merit as the “university’s awards are not for sale but offered to those who deserve it.”
Dr Olajumoke explained that Mr. Dogara was nominated to succeed its outgone chancellor.
He takes over as the 2nd chancellor the school has had since inception, in recognition of his outstanding qualities and track record, and for his contribution to the growth of education in Nigeria.