Nigeria in dire need of bridge-builders - Gov. Okowa

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Nigeria is in dire need of leaders who will see the various parts of the country as one united nation.

Okowa stated this on Monday when he receive the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and His Royal Majesty, Dr. Benjamin Ikenchukwu, Keagborekuzi I, the Dein of Agbor Kingdom at Government House, Asaba.

He said that the nation was in dire need of leaders who would see the strength in the nation’s diversity rather than using it to divide the country.

He said the visit of the Kano monarch to Delta was the kind of relationship that would help unite and bring peace to the nation and called on Nigerians to see themselves as brothers, irrespective of their diversity.

“I welcome you on behalf of the government and people of Delta State and I want to thank God that you truly found time to visit us.

“We are truly very excited that you found time to be in Delta to pay a condolence visit to our brother, Prince Nduka Obaigbena and also visit the Olu of Warri on his first coronation anniversary.

“This is actually the kind of relationship we look forward to in our nation, Nigeria. A relationship that builds bridges across this nation and makes us realise that we are one people in this nation.

“We are very thankful for this visit because there is a need to build this bond of unity and we must truly thank you for the roles you have played in our nation because, I know that you are a very very influential royal father in this nation,” he said.

He called for the harnessing of the experience and wisdom of traditional rulers in the country by creating statutory roles for them in view of their contributions to the growth and development of society.

Okowa said the royal fathers needed to be assigned greater roles in the governance of Nigeria because they played very important roles in keeping the people closely knit together.

He said if Nigerians were to find solutions to the challenges at the moment, “we definitely need to have a working pact with royal fathers in this nation”.

He said this was because, beyond being the custodians of traditions of the people, God had placed it on them to unite the people.

“So, working closely with our royal fathers will definitely help us in solving the problems of insecurity that we are faced with in our nation today.

“We look forward to a Nigeria in which we continue to see our nation as ours.

The governor said unfortunately, there were many voices that tended to divide Nigerians, and expressed the hope that in the next few years, the narrative would change.

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Okowa said he believed in the unity of the nation, saying Nigeria was stronger being together.

“When we begin to realize this, l am sure that we will build a much better country. It is our hope that our royal fathers will take up the challenge to begin to build the voices of hope.

The PDP running mate expressed the belief that these problems could be addressed, though It might take time, yet Nigerians must agree to collectively work together.

He expressed concern over the continued Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, saying that it portends grave danger for the educational development of the country.

“We are now beginning to hear that JAMB and the Universities are likely to face issues because of the over six months ASUU strike.

The governor said if the strike extended into the seventh month, the implication was that those that would ordinarily have been admitted, would not find space in the Universities because the old students needed to move up for the new ones to come in.

Earlier, the Emir, Ado Bayero, said his visit was to cement the age-long relationship between Kano and Delta State.

“It is a pleasure for me to be in Delta. This is a special visit and we pray God will continue to guide and bless you as Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“This visit is to develop the special relationship that exists between Kano and Delta states. Be rest assured of our support and prayers of success in your political career.

“Let us believe in ourselves and be honest with each other and if we take that into consideration, we all know that the differences between us are less than what we share together.

Bayero said talks of disunity in our nation today were something Nigerians can sit and discuss because it had been done before with success.

He expressed the belief that as a traditional institution, the government could not be blamed for everything because everyone had roles to play.

He said with the right leadership, things would get better for the country.

On 2023 campaigns, the traditional ruler urged politicians to encourage their followers to be of good behavior while urging the people to go for what was good in the interest of the nation.

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