The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says patriotic zeal of citizens is very important to national development.
Adesina spoke in Lagos at the 2nd anniversary of Global Patriot Newspaper, an online newspaper.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture, which also featured awards, was “Patriotism, Untapped Potentials and National Development”.
“We need to love our country even when things are tough. We do not have any other country to call our own,” Adesina said.
He pointed out that no country developed without the patriotic zeal of citizens, noting that patriotism is also an ingredient for nationalism.
The special adviser said the Buhari administration was taking practical steps at realising the Nigerian dream.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with human and material potential. Unfortunately, the Nigerian dream had been deferred for too long.
“We now have an administration that is determined to explore and exploit the country‘s potential for greatness.
“That is why we are talking about diversification and all that, and we are beginning to see some movements in agriculture, solid minerals and other critical areas.
“We also have Economic Recovery Growth Plan Programme to place the economy on the path of progress and grow the GDP,” he said.
Adesina, however, said the task of building the Nigeria of everyone ‘s dream was not a task for the administration alone, but the concerted efforts of all Nigerians.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations, to move in the same development direction with the current administration.
The special adviser identified nepotism, fake news, hate speeches as some of the impediments to development, urging citizens to shun them.
Also, former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, said there was the need for leaders to inspire patriotism through good governance.
He said the neglect of people successive leaderships had made the people not to believe in the country.
“The people are hopeless because successive leaders have neglected them; that is why we are having these patriotism issues in the country.
“We need leaders that will sacrifice for the people and inspire them to greatness. We need leaders who will extract patriotism from the people through good governance,” Obi said.
He urged Nigerian leaders to rise up to the challenge of leadership inspiring hope in the led.
Obi said the development strides of countries such as China were not accident, but visionary leadership.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Sam Nwabuah, said leaders had more responsibility to instill patriotism in the led.
Nwabuah, former chairman of Head of Pfizer Nigeria, urged leaders to deliver the goods to promote patriotism.
Leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC, Mr Gani Adams called for the restructuring of the economy.
Represented OPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, Adams said restructuring holds the key to the country ‘s development. (NAN)