Nigeria can only make progress if its ethnic nationalities move closer in the spirit of national unity, says Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President.
Ekweremadu expressed sadness at the disturbing trend of mutual suspicion and ethno-religious bigotry that appear to define national engagements in the recent past.
The development, he said, puts the future of the nation in grave danger.
The Deputy Senate President spoke his mind while receiving an award as INDEPENDENT National Legislator of the Year 2017.
Ekweremadu said like every other concerned Nigerian, members of the National Assembly (NASS) are worried by the state of insecurity in the country and crises fuelled by ethnic, religious, and political differences.
While responding to the challenge thrown at the lawmakers by Alhaji Isa Funtua, Chairman of the occasion, who in his earlier address urged Nigerians from every parts of the country to work more for the unity of Nigeria, Ekweremadu said the Senate, under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki, would soon come up with a template which would help to make the country more secure.
“When the chairman spoke, he challenged us to find a way of dealing with the present level of disunity in our country.
“I want tell you that we accept this challenge. We are as concerned as other Nigerians.
“Nigeria can only make progress when we are united, when we see ourselves as brothers and sisters, and we treat each other as one.
“The Senate has set up a committee headed by the Senate Leader to look at the security architecture of this country.
“Because when you are talking about security, what we say and what we do all give attribute to the security and insecurity that we have.
“They all feed into the system and make us secure or insecure. So, I believe that by the time they finish their work, the Senate will come up with a template that will help this country to be more secure.”
The number two man in the Senate lauded the management of INL, and said Nigeria today needed people who were independent in their thinking and vision, noting that these were the only things that would drive a united and prosperous Nigeria.
“I have looked at the people that are being honoured today and one thing is common, they are independent people like INDEPENDENT newspaper.
“And I believe that I speak their minds if I say we will all continue to be independent.
“Today, Nigeria needs people who are independent in their thinking and their vision. Such independence is the thing that will drive a united Nigeria,” the lawmaker said.