Former head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has urged Nigerian youths to build on the legacies of the founding fathers to ensure the country does not break up.
He said the country’s diversity must be positively explored by all for its continued existence.
Abubakar spoke yesterday at the official launch of Emeka Anyaoku’s Institute of International Studies and Diplomacy, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. The event was attended by former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, former education minister, Oby Ezekwesili and the state governor, Willie Obiano, among others.
The former military ruler underscored the importance of peace and unity for any society that desires meaningful growth and development and said the various agitations across the country would further tear the country apart.
“We must allow peace to reign without which development would be impossible. Altogether, there is strength in diversity. All hands must be on deck to make our great Nigeria greater,” he said.
Former chief of army staff, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, described the present agitation for restructuring of the country as a good idea. He, however, it should not be pursued with violence. While stressing on the need for a unified country, he said it would be abominable for one to seek passport and visa to travel to another part of the country.
Also speaking, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, who chaired the occasion, said nothing was wrong with restructuring, but advised it must be implemented without violence.
He noted that Nigeria, which he described as wonderful, had witnessed only a civil war and urged the youths not to allow it to disintegrate.
Nwachukwu described Anyaoku as a man with great wisdom, whose immense advice had been of benefit to him.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said the diplomatic service of Anyaoku informed the decision to name the institution after him.
Responding, the celebrant, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said he was humbled by the encomiums showered on him by the dignitaries present at the occasion. He expressed appreciation to the university for the honour conferred on him in his lifetime.
He said he devoted over 50 years of his lifetime to international service, promoting cordial relationships between nations, resolving political crisis as well as tackling global challenges, including climate change and terrorism.
Anyaoku, however, noted that his major challenge had been his inability to document his personal papers like his predecessors in the Commonwealth and said the institute had provided the platform for him to accomplish same.
“I am glad that Nnamdi Azikiwe University has provided the opportunity for me to deposit personal papers and books I have written.” he said.