Group Wants Public Holiday In Honour Of Azikiwe
A forum of journalists from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, Izunnwanne, has called on the Federal Government to declare November 16 as a public holiday in honour of the first indigenous President of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The late Azikiwe also the Owelle of Onitsha, a traditional chieftaincy position in the kingdom was born on November 16, 1904. Nigeria also attained the status of a republic on November 16, 1963.
The group in a letter it sent to the Southeast Governors’ Forum, signed by its Chairman, Sir Abuchi Anuenyiagu, and Secretary, Mr Ugwuoke Ugwuoke, laid a historical background to its call to honour the legendary late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
According to the body, “Nigeria attained the status of a republic on November 16, 1963, and this coincides with the birthday of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
“It is a known fact that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was instrumental to the inauguration of November 16 as Nigeria’s Republic Day.
“The concept is to make that day a National Day. It is regrettable that 57 years after, the significant historical omission has yet to be addressed.’’
The group added that there was a need to honour Azikiwe, saying that he remains the symbol of Nigeria’s Nationhood, considering his leading role in the pre-independence struggle for self-rule by Nigeria.
“His initiative to end the civil war, and his great ideas and liberal ideals that never discriminated against any Nigerian tribe is worthy of honour”.
Ahead Of Inauguration: Reach Out To Opposition, Kenyatta Urges Tinubu
Former president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, has advised President-elect Bola Tinubu to “overhaul” any “adversarial mindset” and reach out to those aggrieved by the results of the presidential poll to build a more unified Nigeria.
Kenyatta spoke on Saturday while delivering his speech as a guest speaker at the inaugural lecture preceding the swearing in of Tinubu as president of Nigeria.
He advised the president-elect to ensure his leadership encompassed all citizens, regardless of whether or not they supported him during the election process.
The former president of Kenya said Tinubu must surround himself with voices that challenge his own, adding that he will “lose nothing and gain everything by reaching out across the political, ethnic and religious lines”.
“The contest is now over. And the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria now begins,” Kenyatta said.
“Upon assuming the office of president, you would be wise to transcend from the tactical politics of an election and assume your role as Nigeria’s vision bearer. This will demand a complete overhaul of the adversarial mindset that we, as politicians, are conditioned to embrace during the electoral process.
“As president, you must learn very quickly to lead those who do not love you and those who love you with equal passion and commitment because you are now the father of all.
“Your Excellency, when countries are in election mode, the people and their leaders are more divided than ever and boxed into their various sectarian and partisan interests.
However, when you are the head of state and you take command of the country’s armed forces, you become the embodiment of the sum total of the many different ethnic groups and religions that make up your country, and you become the symbol of unity. Indeed, you have become the face of Nigeria.
“I encourage you to surround yourself with the voices of those who will counterbalance the hardliners that feel entitled to a piece of your office. You will lose nothing and gain everything by reaching out across the political, ethnic and religious lines.
“To those who may feel aggrieved by your victory in one way or another, please allow them to exhale and be part of your vision for a greater Nigeria.
“It is my hope and my prayer that the lessons from across the continent will give you the resolve to walk the difficult path of overcoming those three enemies.
“I started by mentioning the three enemies of nationhood: negative ethnicity, religious discrimination and corruption. As your fellow African, I look forward to a Nigeria that emerges from this transition, ready to flex and fight for its rightful place on the global stage with both hands at the ready.”
Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and he’s billed to be sworn into office on May 29.
However, major opposition parties during the election have gone to court to challenge the outcome of the election.
Last Day In Office, Buhari Apologises For Painful Economic Policies
President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised for the negative impact of some his economic policies on Nigerians.
The president spoke in his farewell broadcast to the nation yesterday.
Buhari acknowledged that some of his administration’s policies caused “temporary pain and suffering” to Nigerians.
He added that although the decisions were “difficult choices, the measures were taken for the overall good of the country”.
“In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results,” the president said.
“Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologise to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country.”
Buhari was elected Nigeria’s president under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, ending the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
FG Confers Nigerian Citizenship On 385 Foreigners
The Federal Government has conferred Nigerian citizenship on 385 foreign nationals from different continents across the world.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known at the 1st 2023 Conferment ceremony of Nigerian citizenship by naturalisation and registration on Saturday in Abuja.
The minister said one of the objectives of the present administration was to lay a solid socio-economic and political foundation that would elevate Nigeria into one of the 20 great economies of the world.
He said to achieve this vision, the federal government was determined to encourage and attract foreigners, investors, resourceful individuals and people with rare talents and unbounded energy into the country.
“Today’s conferment ceremony will be granted to 385 foreigners who have gone through diligent checks by the relevant agencies of state as stipulated by the constitution and have fulfilled all statutory and administrative requirements.
“I need to state that the acquisition of Nigerian citizenship is a great privilege and not everyone that applies becomes successful.
“However, that we have a high number of foreigners willing to become Nigerians is an indication that the ongoing efforts to make Nigeria a destination for investment and peaceful coexistence is beginning to yield good fruits”, he said.
The minister said that it was under the present administration that the largest number of foreigners had been naturalised.
“Between 2011 and 2013, a total of 266 foreigners became Nigerians. In 2017, 335 people took up Nigerian citizenship.
“But last year, 286 foreigners and today at this ceremony, 385, making a total of 671 have acquired Nigerian citizenship.
“I am still not pleased with this figure. In Europe and America, thousands of foreigners are inducted into citizenship every year.
“They do this to attract youths and people in their prime who would like to contribute to the development of their countries.
“The bane of the smooth pathway to Nigerian citizenship, however, is the constitutional requirement of continuous residency in Nigeria for 15 years”, he added.
This, he said, was a huge disincentive, considering that in the U.S. and most European countries, it is five years.
Mr Aregbesola added that some of these countries have made a habit of snatching young and resourceful brains, who after four years of schooling and working for just one year, through easy pathways, obtain migration to their countries.
He, therefore, urged the relevant institutions of state to reconsider this in the next effort at amendment to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Also, while the foreign wives of Nigerian men can automatically become citizens through registration, this same privilege is not available to foreign husbands of Nigerian women”, he lamented.
Mr Aregbesola added that the ministry had been invested with the power to grant permanent residence to foreign nationals who had demonstrated exceptional talents, knowledge and skills in rare fields of Science, Technology and Medicine, among others.
He assured them that they would not regret the decision they have made to become Nigerians, reminding them, however, that every privilege goes with responsibility.
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