Nigerian leaders must value the interests of every section of the country in order to build a united nation devoid of agitations, disunity and disenchantment among citizens, former President Goodluck Jonathan has counseled. Jonathan spoke at Opume, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, when he led members of the 1981 pioneer set of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association on a visit to King Amalate Turner, Obigbo Mikimiki 1, the Obanema (traditional ruler) of Opume Kingdom.
Jonathan said Nigeria is blessed with both human and natural endowments which could only be enjoyed in a peaceful atmosphere. He urged leaders to focus more on building a united nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other. Jonathan stated: “Leaders should focus more on uniting Nigerians. If one society or group of people or tribe is more valued than the other, then there is bound to be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being accorded their rightful respect and value.”
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The former President, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of UNIPORT, said the reunion programme was part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates. He also said the reunion was a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their Alma mater and give back to the school and society in general. The first former military governor of old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff, who spoke during a lecture of Unique UNIPORT ’81 Reunion at Aridolf Hotel in Yenagoa, said the founding of the University of Port Harcourt was not an easy task as a lot of interests worked against it at the initial period.
He, however, praised General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), former military Head of State for his audacious and courageous actions to make the establishment of UNIPORT a reality. He said he risked his job then as the military governor because he was poised to ensure that UNIPORT was founded against the advice that UNIPORT should be a college under the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Protection of all region’s interest panacea for united Nigeria — Jonathan .