Tinubu tasks politicians, traditional rulers on selfless service, unity
President Bola Tinubu has tasked Nigerian politicians and traditional rulers on sustaining nation’s unity.
He made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the public presentation of the book “Brutally Frank,” an autobiography of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the book has 28 chapters with 688 pages.
Tinubu, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen George Akume, said that traditional rulers and politicians had a stake in the country.
The President, therefore, called on all hands to be on deck to realise a great nation.
He further said that there was the need for all to manage Nigeria’s diversity for the unity of the country.
“We are greater when we are introduced as Nigerians than when we are introduced on the basis of ethnicity.
“This country is structurally complex and structurally difficult but can never be difficult to manage.
“Our plurality, our diverse cultures, languages, religion, constitute the source of our strength.”
“Since we came in, we have demonstrated enough for the management of this diversity through appointment of persons, citizens into key, strategic positions.’’
The President, who noted that the country was going through a difficult phase, assured Nigerians that a new nation would soon be birthed.
“These pains are the pains of birth, birth of a new nation. We know the removal of fuel subsidy has created some pains and that is why palliatives are being put in place.
“We can endure this for a moment; what we are going through today is for a better tomorrow. Nations are great because citizens have hope that tomorrow will be better than today,” he added.
The President further described Clark as a great man, an extraordinary citizen, whose name “is a household name throughout the country.
“Clark is a part of the Nigerian legion, the Iroko of the South-South and the Eagle of the nation.”
Also speaking, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), chairman of the occasion, said the presence of dignitaries at the occasion was deserving to a man such as Clark.
“It is deserving that at his ripe age of 96 years, the Nigerian nation could gather in this befitting manner to honour him and pay deserving respects to his towering legacy of national service.
“My relationship with the Clark family, unknown to many, has been enduring over the years and has been expressed in deep bonds of friendship and mutual respect.
“The period in which Nigeria emerged from its most challenging political turmoil was one that needed great dexterity and empathy in the arduous task of reconciliation, rehabilitation, reintegration, reconstruction and rebuilding our bonds of oneness.”
While recalling the days of how Clark was chosen as Federal Commissioner, Gowon said that, “there was no better Nigerian for the job of Information Minister at that time.
“That was when we needed to show our warmness and empathy for one another as a people.
“The need to fill in the void created by Chief Anthony Enahoro’s exit was what gave Clark the job of Minister in the government which I headed.
“He became my confidant and the voice of the government, fearlessly defending the government and projecting its image. I found comfort in discussing government and other issues with Clark.”
Similarly, former President Goodluck Jonathan described the book as a good political-history book that most Nigerians would want to read from the front page to the back page.
“It will be useful to our young people,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan said that Clark was a person whose vision was “for Nigeria; for the security of this country and for the unity of this country.
“Clark is one of those few Nigerians that his name should be written in letters of gold in our political-history book.”
Also speaking, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said the author of the book was a true elder statesman and a phenomenal patriot.
“Clark has remained “Brutally Frank” in his submissions over the years. I am therefore, not surprised that his autobiography is titled “Brutally Frank.”
“I have no doubt that the wisdom and perspectives shared in this great book, will offer us a chance to reflect on the journey we’ve undertaken as a society and to glean valuable lessons that can guide our future endeavours.”
In his vote of thanks, the author of the book, Clark called for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The event had in attendance traditional rulers, including the Ooni of Ife; Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Amanayabo of Twon-Brass; Alfred Ditte-Spiff, the Emir of Kano; Aminu Ado Bayero, serving and former governors and serving and non-serving senators.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.