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Reflections on 2019 Independence Day broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari

7th Oct, 2019 | By Our Reporter | ||

Let me again congratulate fellow Nigerians on the successful celebration of our 59th Independence Anniversary. I was impressed with the way Nigerians across the country celebrated the occasion despite the many challenges confronting our nation. It is a great thing to observe that Nigerians did not allow despair and lamentations to overtake their spirit of resilience and love for their country.

This is what makes us great and unique in the world. My sincere hope is that these attributes will reflect positively in our attitude and conduct in both public and private affairs. In keeping with tradition, President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation. The address in my view was well thought out, pungent and comprehensive, touching on key issues affecting our developmental goals and aspirations. The issues addressed included value re-orientation, national security, environmental sustainability, economic growth, power generation, food security and self-sufficiency, social investment, corruption, good governance, the social media, population growth, peace and unity.

In addition, the President used the opportunity to justify some of the recent actions taken by his administration. For instance,the resuscitation of the Ministry of Police Affairs is to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security while the assent given to the Nigeria Police Trust (Establishment) Act is to address the funding challenge of the Nigeria Police; the merger of the Federal Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning is in furtherance of the administration's commitment to achieving micro-economic stability and diversification; the creation of the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the subsequent transfer of the Social Investment Programme to the Ministry is to institutionalize the programme for optimal impact; andthe redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is to ensure effective coordination and delivery that will enhance the living standards of the Niger Delta communities.

This is the whole essence of open government and we commend the President for this while urging government officials to be open and transparent in the management of government business. For the purpose of our reflection, we shall focus on the issue of value re-orientation. In his broadcast, the President addressed the issue of positive and enduring change which is sine qua non for national peace and security, economic growth and development, and the fight against corruption and insecurity.

According to the President "This change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation"He recalled his statement four years ago when he said "Change does not just happen… We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust…simply put, to bring change, we must first be law-abiding citizens" We totally agree with the President. Firstly, development cannot take place where the right values, attitude and conduct are absent. This is because while material resources are critical for development, it is the human character that determines the pace and direction of development. Thus, a country can be rich in resources and yet remain poor. In other words, the difference between success and failure is character.

Secondly, we cannot expect others to change when we ourselves don't embrace change. It is the totality of our individual change that will bring about national change. We, therefore, call on leaders in all spheres and at all levels to live and lead by example. Great leaders are defined not by their material possession, but by their character. Of course, Nigeria is not without a sense of direction. Section 23 of the 1999 Constitution states that our national ethics shall be "Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-Reliance and Patriotism" For any change to be positive and enduring, it must be an embodiment of these values.

In addition, Section 24 clearly spells out the duty of every citizen. One very important duty is to "Abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, the National Flag, the National Anthem, the National Pledge, and legitimate authorities" Again, change can only happen when we respect the rule of law. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) will continue to be at the vanguard of promoting these values especially among the young people. Currently, the Agency is implementing the 'Change Begins with Me' campaign using a number of strategies and platforms including the social media and Theatre for Development (TFD). However, the task of bringing about positive change must be a collective one. Social institutions such the family, schools, traditional and religious institutions, etc, must all be involved. While towing the path of persuasion to promote these values, it is also necessary to put in place a judicious reward system that will ensure that good behaviour is adequately rewarded while indiscipline is appropriately sanctioned.

It is instructive to state that the task of promoting value re-orientation is capital intensive. The NOA should be adequately funded and supported by all tiers of government for enhanced performance. Public enlightenment facilities such as vehicles, cinema vans, outdoor public address systems, and musical instruments, etc, are necessary for effectiveness. Going forward, I see a great Nigeria sooner than later if we make positive change our priority. However, change must first begin with you and me. God bless Nigeria.

News Update

The Minister said these after a meeting of the FCT Security Committee which comprises heads of the police, military and para-military formations in FCT as well as Area Council Chairmen and religious leaders.

The cheery news is coming as Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu will headline a distinguished galaxy of stakeholders for the FCT pension stakeholders retreat this week.

Finally last week, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) took over managing and operating the newly- completed Nigeria-Korea Model School in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his Administration will continue to fashion policies designed to ensure employment and security of all citizens, especially the youth.

Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has decried the lynching of three suspected traffic robbers popularly known as 'One chance' in Dutsen Alhaji area of Abuja last week.

Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) always makes public the allocations in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's Change Agenda which harps on transparency, anti-corruption and accountability, tenets which FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has made his beacon.


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