29th January, 2022
Rochas Okorocha, the Senator representing Imo South Senatorial District, said Nigerians must select leaders in the coming 2023 elections based on their competence and track records, irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, and religion.
Okorocha stated this on Friday in Abuja at the “2021 Our Nigeria News Awards“ organised by Our Nigeria Magazine with the theme, “Nigeria is Our Nigeria: We Must Join Hands Together To Make It Work Or We Perish Together”.
The ex-governor of Imo State also said the fact that Nigeria is passing through a difficult moment does not mean that the nation is finished.
Okorocha, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that Nigeria had remained a great nation for those who believed in Nigeria and its unity.
He added that the impression abroad was that Nigerians were so divided and no longer their brothers` keepers.
The former governor said that Nigeria as a nation was at present going through a difficult moment and ugly situations such as poverty and insecurity leading to killings and destructions of lives and property.
“I have often said to our leaders at all levels that we must begin to accept responsibilities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with followers but there can be something wrong with leadership.
“As we approach the 2023 elections, I want to appeal to Nigerians to take a second look to address the mood of the nation right now and call for unity of this country.
“We can dramatise this at all levels wherever we find ourselves be it as Muslims or Christians and in whatever religion or tribe you might find yourself.
“This nation is a great nation, we cannot afford to condemn our country, we must rise to speak well of this country as the creators of this nation.
“What is happening to Nigeria is that we are passing through a difficult moment of our time to write the history of Nigeria but a time shall come when other nations will see us as the greatest nation in the world,” he said.
However, Sen. Bassey Etuk, said the award was not just to make the recipients good ambassadors of the organization but a call to duty for greater commitment to the nation and humanity.
Etuk said the issue of the increasing inequality gap in the society and the display of opulence by the elite was putting too much pressure on the system.
He said that giving everybody a sense of belonging would reduce the crime rate and insecurity, adding that all Nigerians had the responsibility of making sure that the country waxed great.
“I want to assure each and everyone who calls for division here and there that it is not going to serve any purpose.
“A marriage that has been blessed by God for over how many years cannot be broken overnight. So it is better for all of us to come together, forget about where you come from, and be a Nigerian and we’ll be able to move this country forward,” he said.
On his part, the Paramount Ruler of Alesa-Eleme, Rivers, Sir John Nope II, said a revisit to the question of national unity was a matter of utmost urgency for every Nigerian, irrespective of their position in the society.
The royal father said the responsibility of every Nigerian was to make Nigeria great where equity and justice would serve as the bedrock that would ensure peace and progress.
He said there were developments and tendencies that eloquently testified to the fact that national unity remained one important area requiring fresh and proper attention.