Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, says Nigerians will not become second-class citizens elsewhere if the country is what it ought to be.
Speaking at the “Naija Youth Talk” programme organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Abuja on Monday, Adesina said while it is the right of citizens to demand for the kind of country they want, it is pertinent to love Nigeria against all odds.
The event was the first of a series of conversations about the Nigerian youth and children ahead of the 2019 International Literacy Day.
He said: “We have a right to ask for the kind of country we want. A country where there will be no xenophobia; where nobody will tell us, go back to your country.
“If we have the kind of country we want, why would we go and become second-class or third-class citizens anywhere else? We should get the kind of county we want.
“But for us to get that kind of country, we must love our country and our country must reciprocate by loving us. The question then is, do we love this country?
“There is nothing better than loving the unloveable. If you love just the lovable, you have not done anything outstanding. Nigeria in its past and present state may be unlovable but it remains our country.”
Euphrates Wose, chief of education, UNICEF, said part of the focus of the programme is to address the existing gap in the education of children in the country among other challenges.
“Young people today live in a world of unlimited potential. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people in recent years, much remains to be done,” she said.
She also advocated for more collaboration between relevant stakeholders and continued support for a better future for the Nigerian youth and children.
Pay Debts Owed NDDC Contractors For Jobs Done- Urges Senator Diffa
Senator Emmanuel Diffa- Bayelsa State, Mr Maxwell Oko-executive director, finance and administration-EDFA-Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC, President Muhammadu Buhari(PMB)
Senator Emmanuel Diffa has urged the executive director, finance and administration, EDFA of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to work in synergy with other board members in clearing debts owed contractors for jobs duly completed.
Diffa from Bayelsa State speaking in an interview with journalists further called on Mr Maxwell Oko, the new EDFA together with the board members to identify dilapidated roads in the Niger Delta region and fix them.
He also urged the newly appointed boards of the NDDC to move with compassion and eradicate the suffering of the people, noting that by so doing their living standard would be elevated.
While applauding President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision in appointing Oko, he described it as the height of the president’s show of knowledge and wisdom in the handling of affairs in the Niger Delta.
Diffa observed that the changes in the NDDC were necessary as a way of correcting the wrongs of the past and moving the commission forward.
Speaking on his expectation of the EDFA, the Senator said “Maxwell is very passionate about what he does and doing the best, he is reliable, trusted, committed and he has a lot of respect for elders; so as far as I’m concerned, he can do the job for all of us. He is active, good in business, if they give them free hands, he will deliver, if they allow him to do the job, he will deliver.
“Maxwell is a very strong boy, he is disciplined; he will not just take no for an answer, he believes in what he does. Maxwell will do the work very well. I think they will cooperate and deliver if they are given a free hand. They will meet the needs and aspiration of our people.”
Diffa noted that he was overjoyed when the news of Oko’s appointment as the new EDFA of NDDC came, he said the choice of Maxwell Oko was borne out of wisdom, he noted that having known the new EDFA for decades, he was sure that he would deliver.
He, however, said his expectation was that a Bayelsan would have been appointed as managing director under the new arrangement.
“I would have thought that as the NDDC has stipulated, Bayelsa would have had the MD position right now, but they decided to give Bayelsa the position of the EDFA.
“I will say that if it’s still practicable for them to correct it, because everybody can make mistakes, so they can correct that and move Maxwell Oko as the MD, because that is honestly right now the position of the Bayelsa.
“Having said that, if they still want to keep it the way they have done it, okay; as far as I am concerned, Maxwell Oko is eminently qualified to do that work as well. Maxwell is educated, highly intelligent.
“Talking of his special role as an activist in the Niger Delta struggle, it means he feels the pains and knows the solutions of the Niger Delta, if he’s moved to serve as the MD in the NDDC I’m sure he will do a very great job.”
According to the senator, the Niger Delta produces much wealth for the nation, hence should be given proper consideration and accorded what they deserve.