By Kayode Fasua
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called on those fanning the embers of discord under the guise of Nigeria’s ethnic diversity to repent, rather, they should leverage on the strength of such diversities for national growth.
Abiodun made the call at a colloquial zoom meeting to mark the 45th anniversary of the state.
He described as unfortunate that some people in the country were stoking the fire of disintegration of Nigeria through violence.
Abiodun advised that although Nigeria was made of diverse ethnic nationalities, it is imperative to harness all the potential and strength of each group for the good of all.
According to him, “Let us also use the occasion of the 45th anniversary of our dear state to appeal to the rest of Nigerians.
“We must eschew all forms of violence and learn to live together. We must also appreciate that there can be no development in an atmosphere of insecurity.
“We must learn to manage our diversity and turn it into our strength.
“We must not encourage those stoking the embers of violence for disintegration of our great country.”
The governor said a country where tribes and tongues differ but stand in brotherhood is where unity in diversity thrives.
He added: “We all have duties, responsibilities and obligations to aid better understanding of our local and national realities. All we need to do is to manage our differences effectively, and Nigeria will be greater.”
Abiodun also urged the rest of the country to take a cue from Ogun State, noting that the state had been able to direct the potential and strength of its over 10 sub-ethnic groups for the benefit of the state.
He added that the state diversity had been one of the major forces propelling its development.
“Today, Ogun State is the home to not just indigenes of our dear state, but people from diverse backgrounds all over the country and even to a lot of foreigners.
“Yes, I agree there may be reasons for us to disagree on certain issues of our essentials, but we will only disagree to agree and move forward,” he stated.
The governor observed that with humble beginning in 1976, the state had grown to become one of the most viable states in Nigeria, having the fastest growing investment and commercial destination not in Nigeria, but also the whole of the West African sub-region.
He appreciated the founding “fathers and mothers” whose efforts led to the creation of the state, as well as the zeal of pioneer public servants transferred from the Western Region then, who commuted daily from Ibadan to Abeokuta.