Information minister urges politicians to build Nigeria

By Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called on the political class in Nigeria to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to build the nation.

Speaking with State House correspondents on Tuesday after the Presidential Change of Guards to mark Nigeria’s 59thindependence anniversary, Alhaji Mohammed advised politicians not to overheat the country, but to contribute in development.

“The political class has its role to play and my advice is that we should not over heat the polity.

“Elections are over; we should all join hands to build the nation.

“The beauty of democracy is that every four years, you have the opportunity to decide who is going to be your leader. But once elections are over, everybody should join hands together to build the country because I believe that even those in opposition; they mean well for Nigeria…Therefore, they should join hands with the government to build a united and prosperous Nigeria,” he stated

Keep hope
Alhaji Mohammed urged Nigerians to keep hope alive for a better Nigeria.

According to him, “59 years of independence in a country as diverse as Nigeria is not easy, but the good thing is that everybody is glad to be part of one united and prosperous Nigeria.”

The minister stressed that the administration of President Buhari would continue to work to ensure there is unity, security and for prosperity of all Nigerians.

Cause to celebrate
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said Nigerians have a cause to celebrate the country’s 59th independence anniversary.

Mr Boss Mustapha

Mr Mustapha stated that compared to countries that have had over 200 years of democracy, Nigeria has done very well despite the conflicts it has experienced in its 59 years of independence.

“We have had major conflicts even within those 59 years, but to still be one solid, indivisible country today is a thing we as Nigerians should rejoice over…So, I believe we have every course to celebrate that God has been truly be faithful to us as a nation and as a people. 

“Yes, we acknowledge challenges, but going forward in our attitude.  Like the President said this morning, the change must begin with each and every one of us.

“In our various spheres of influence and endeavours we must begin to change our attitude, our ways of doing things; become lawful citizens, not lawless citizens and we will begin to see God work in our nation to cause a change,” he explained.

Tasks media on security
Mr. Mustapha urged the media to join hands with government in ensuring security in Nigeria.

“I believe that each and every one of us, including those of you that are of the fourth realm, you have a responsibility, even the way you report. 

“If the report is to create panic and fear and to give credence to people who have notoriously terrorised people, obviously there will becopycats… Everybody would want to be on that platform and be on the pages of newspapers on daily basis and on the faces of television because of what we are doing. So, as much as possible, in our reporting, we must have balance and we must do it in such a way that will promote national interest and denounce elements of criminality,” Mr Mustapha stressed.

According to him, the issue of security is a collective responsibility and the current plans of government to police communities would yield positive responsibility.

“What that means is that the community itself has responsibility to police the community.  Let’s not forget, in those days, in the early 60s, we had those kinds of responsibilities. 

“We had strata of responsibilities and authority and nobody could come into a particular community and get a rented compound until it is cleared by the ward head or the man that had traditional authority over that area,” he stated.

Mr Mustapha added that the neglect of the traditional institutions and over reliance on governments at all levels to provide security has been responsible for some of Nigeria’s security challenges.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere