By Bridget Ikyado
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Sen. George Akume has urged all Nigerians to coexist peacefully for speedy development under President Bola Tinubu.
Akume made the call at an award ceremony organised by Arewa Youth Advocacy for Good Governance (AYAGG) in Abuja on Thursday.
The ceremony was organised to bestow on Mr Patrick Ukura, “Ahmadu Bello Sardauna Distinguished Leadership Award as an Icon of Hope”, for developing a document to address farmers/herders crisis in the country.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Chris Tarkar, Akume said that the new government led by Tinubu was faced with many challenges in the development of the nation.
The SGF said that Nigerians must unite irrespective of tribe or religion build a better Nigeria under Tinubu.
He said that Tinubu made a promise to Nigerians under the “Renewed Hope Agenda” which challenges all Nigerians to believe in the capabilities of Nigeria.
Akume said that government had embarked on multiple programmes, among which was challenging the issue of security head-on.
“We are not by choice Nigerians but we are Nigerians by the making of the Almighty God; we did not choose to be born into any tribe but God in His wisdom code for us because that is what it should be.
“He also chose that we should all be in this great nation, you could be an igbo man in America or Hausa man in China but He decided otherwise, we should be here.
“In recognition of that fact, we owe it to ourselves to work together; we all have differences in terms of culture and religion but if we believe in the unity, the purpose and the greatness of this nation, working together we can build a great Nigeria.
“The politics of divisiveness either based on religion or ethnic sentiments will not lead us anywhere,” he said.
According to Akume, Tinubu has not shied away from the remote causes; adding,”one of the greatest challenges is the relationship between the herdsmen and farmers caused by climate change.”
Akume said that desert encroachment was one of the root causes and that government was trying to control it by putting up a programme called the ‘Great Green Wall’.
He said: “It is a programme that will employ a lot of youths and engage a lot of people, they are other programmes that will face the challenges of unemployment.
“I want to assure you that it will work because the president has put modalities in place to ensure that what the programmes meet what they are designed for.
“We call on you as Nigerians to be monitoring the implementation of these programmes.”
Akume described the recipient as a man who had embarked on many projects and never gave up until desired results were achieved.
He said that such qualities should be emulated by all youths, saying, “men may not believe in what you do but if you believe, eventually men will believe in what you are doing.”
Akume further said that the award was being given in the name of a great leader who stood for the development of the north, young people and of Nigeria as a whole.
Earlier, the Secretary General of AYAGG, Amb. Ibrahim Adamu said that they identified in Ukura, a promoter of this.
He said that Ukura had equally dedicated his life to selfless services of humanity especially by bringing communities together and advocating for peace.
He said: “We presented this award to him to serve as a motivation to support him to continue to do more.”
Responding, Ukura said that the crisis between farmers and herders in this country had lasted for almost 10 years.
Ukura said he had lost two of his classmates to the crisis and he decided as an environmentalist, to find a solution to the crisis.
“I believe that every problem on earth has a solution, so I swung into action. I went to study, travelled around the world to study how herding business is done in other countries to bring experience to Nigeria.
“We are hoping and believing that this will bring a lasting solution to this farmer serious crisis, that peace will be assured and people will live together harmoniously.
“Nigeria will develop, people will get employment, as you can see from the brochure, 100,000 youths will be engaged for the first six months,” he said. (NAN)