By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – The management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) says it will collaborate with the Initiative for Dialogue and Development (IDD), a non-governmental organisation, in promoting inclusive governance.
Mr Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director of NAN made the pledge when he received a delegation of IDD team led by its chairman, Mr Ike Neliaku, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Represented by Mrs Adijat Lawal, Director, Finance and Account in NAN, said the agency was elated with the outlined programmes of the organisation, especially in creating a groundswell of positive citizen engagement in promoting national cohesion and nation building.
He expressed optimism that the programme would help in grooming Nigerian youths and strengthens the unity of the country.
“I felt this is a very good initiative, we need to really catch them young; this is the really catch them young programme because youths of today will be the elders of tomorrow and it is the way they are modeled that will follow.
“Bringing them together from different ethnic groups will promote the unity of the country. It doesn’t matter whether they are Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo; NAN will partner with you and give you the necessary support,’’ she said.
Speaking earlier, Neliaku said that the delegation was in NAN to brief the agency management on IDD’s programmes and seek the agency partnership in sensitising the public to its programmes.
“ Nigeria is a project that must be fixed and we have determined to contribute in our own little way, among all the other efforts, to reinvent our nationhood.
“There is need for you to help us for people to understand what we are doing; for people to understand why they have to build Nigeria the way the country should be.
“The picture is not very bright today but I don’t believe that is God’s plan. We have failed because we have not done certain things right, but we must not keep quiet and continue to fail.
“ So we feel that it is our responsibility to join hands with people like you and other organisations within and outside government to have a new narrative for our country.
“We believe Nigeria is designed to have the principle of equity, fairness and justice.
“We believe that when you remove dialogue from a society, that society will crumble and we have seen that violent communications have taken very strong root in our polity that we should have a platform to begin to address this,’’ he said.
According to him, IDD has three key programmes including Student Internship Programme, Youth Exchange Assembly and SoapBoxNG to promote national unity and development.
Student Internship Programme, according to him, is a national initiative designed to groom a replacement generation of nationalists committed to promoting love for the country.
He said Youth Exchange Assembly is platform designed for inclusive and exchange of ideas by young Nigerians on national issues, including patriotism, peaceful co-existence and national development.
He said the organisation would unveil its SoapBoxNG on Sept. 28 in Abuja in which retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Dr Christopher Kolade, Prof. Anyanwu. O Anyanwu and Alhaji Balarabe Musa, among others, are expected to feature.(NAN)