Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr. George Akume, has appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government, stressing that President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is working on several ways to address the poverty and hunger in Nigeria.
Dr. Akume, made the appeal in a keynote address delivered at the fourth quarterly meeting of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), in Abuja, on Tuesday, with the theme “Restoration of Hope in Nigeria”.
He said the focus of the administration of President Tinubu, is to rekindle hope in Nigerians, hence the “Renewed Hope” agenda which was the mantra of the 2023 election campaign.
He called on Nigerians to trust that President Tinubu will do all it takes to address the challenges of hunger and poverty. “With huge human and natural resources deposit in Nigeria, our people have no reason to live in penury.”
He promised that President Tinubu will not weaponize religion and ethnicity contrary to the fear of so many people, and this is evident in the appointments made so far by the President. “We are laying a foundation that will put smiles on the faces of the citizens. This is why we call for a renewed hope.
“So, let’s live in unity to a point that tongue and tribe may differ but in unity we must stand. We believe in consultation with all levels and societal class to achieve the development in terms of security, human development and peaceful co-existence.”
He insisted that transformation of any society depends on the level of the positive change of attitude of each individual, starting from the ruling class to the grassroot. ‘Apart from the effort of government to renew and restore the hope of the citizens, every Nigerian is a stakeholder in national development by having a change of attitude and renewed mentality
“This change of attitude and hope in Nigeria will stop the Nigerian youths from running away from their native land to voluntarily offering themselves as free slaves through the Sahara, Mediterranean and Atlantic human trafficking.
President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, in his remarks reassured Nigerians of hope and opportunities despite signals that indicate otherwise.
He discouraged Nigerians from “reckless” emigration that exposes them to more danger and inhumane treatment that are worst than what they are avoiding back home.
He advised those intending to ‘japa’ to make adequate research and ask relevant questions to avoid being trapped in dangerous web.
He, however, admitted that Nigeria has faced numerous challenges that have shaken the very core of its unity and stability, notably, insecurity, violence, political tensions and economic hardships. “But Nigerians have endured the strife and extreme difficulties. Unfortunately, those who could not bear the situation migrated to other nations in search of greener pastures in what is commonly known as “japa syndrome”.
“Solution is not in running away to other countries but in finding ways to restore hope of the citizens in our dear country. Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources more than many nations of the world, but we need to get it right on the management of these resources for the good of all.
“But for this to happen, we must all develop a culture where transparency and accountability are celebrated, a system where public officers are held accountable for their actions and inactions during their tenures in office or after leaving office.
“Little by little, we have witnessed glimmers of hope emerging from within the Nigerian populace. In the face of adversity, we have seen communities come together regardless of religious or ethnic backgrounds to provide support and solace to those in need. We have also witnessed the unwavering determination of our youths in demanding a better tomorrow, and the resilience of ordinary citizens who refuse to surrender to the despair that surrounds them.
“But in all, hope can be the catalyst for positive transformation which requires deliberate efforts and unified action. As leaders representing the major religions in Nigeria, we must foster an environment that promotes harmony, tolerance, and mutual respect.
“By recognizing the shared values that underpin all major religions, we can create bridges of understanding and work towards a common vision of hope. Let us be ready to defend the freedom of religion and belief not just for ourselves but for others who may not necessarily be of the same faith or region with us.”
Archbishop Okoh stressed that it’s the duty of the religious and traditional leaders to encourage and support initiatives that prioritize peace building, conflict resolution, and the equitable distribution of resources.
“By working together, beyond religious or ethnic barriers, we can rebuild the moral fabric of our nation and restore the hope of Nigerians so that the trend of migration can be reversed in no distant time.”
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, in his remarks, said he’s behind the CAN President in his effort to discourage emigration in search of greener pastures.
He rather challenged Nigerians to pray for the government so they can take good decisions and policies that would bring peace and development in Nigeria, and not a deliberate effort to pull down the system.
He admitted that there’s several challenges in Nigeria as it is the case in other countries. “But that’s not enough reason to loose hope in the country and pull down its leadership. It’s important that we know that Nigeria is not as bad as people are painting it. Visit other countries and you see the good in Nigeria.”
“We have problems in Nigeria, no doubt. But we are far better than several other countries. So, we have to be patriotic, pray and support our leaders. Let’s not loose hope in Nigeria no matter the challenge. God is not sleeping on matter that concern Nigeria.”