The Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Amb. Tukur Buratai, has called on all Nigerians to join hands and work together towards making Nigeria a great nation.
Buratai made the call 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,” on Friday in Abuja.
The former army chief commended the management of the magazine for conceptualising the concept of recognising and rewarding excellence.
He said the event had provided the opportunity to recognise excellence and hard work, as well as to encourage those who were doing their best to contribute to the society to keep doing the good works.
According to him, “what is most important is what are we contributing to the development of the society and the development of our country as well as progress, peace and security that we need.
“Tonight, I know it’s a time to honor some of our country’s best to honour those whose work exemplifies the standards and values that elicit admiration and respect, not only from Nigeria and Nigerians, but also from the West African sub region.
“And of course, nobody and I need to use this medium to reiterate that Nigeria is the only country we have.
“So we must all join hands together to make it work and we must work towards peace and make this country better than we met it.
“There is nothing that can be compared to peace, but peace just doesn’t happen, it is something that must be constructively and consciously worked for,” he said.
The chairman of the occasion, retired Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Haruna, said the awards for those who had been adjudged to have contributed to the development of Nigeria is a good development.
Haruna, a former federal commissioner for Information, said there was the need to look back and be proud of the various sacrifices by some patriotic Nigerians towards having a safe and united nation.
According to him, “it is justified for us to put all the inputs that will preserve the integrity of our Nigeria as one and sovereign nation of diversity and a desirable country to preserve.
“We have now come a long way through constitutional development, give and take which we must continued to do otherwise, we will not be able to say our Nigeria and we want our Nigeria to outlive us.
“I think we owe it to those who have dedicated their lives to preserving this country and have continued to do so,” he said.
The Publisher of the magazine, Dr Abubakar Dani, said there is the need to emphasize some of the things that are going well while speaking out against what is wrong.
Dani said the awards were in recognition of outstanding contributions of the recipients to national development in different spheres of life.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 24 Nigerians, including politicians, public servants, technocrats, professionals, philanthropists and traditional rulers, were honoured.
Some of the beneficiaries include the Chairman/Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, San. Rochas Okorocha, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Sen. Bassey Etuk, among others.