FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Thursday in Abuja urged Nigerians to stand firm against forces out to disintegrate the country.
Bello gave the advice in a message he sent to an exhibition and symposium to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, organised by FCT Archives and History Bureau.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bello’s message was delivered by Mr Adamu kusherki, Director, Office of the Minister.
The minister also enjoined Nigerians to follow in the footsteps of heroes who stood firm in the face of colonialism and oppression to lay the first stone upon which the country’s stands.
According to him, Nigeria today, sits on a foundation forged from the ideals of unity, strength and a deep sense of national pride.
He explained that the ideals of Nigeria’s unity were mooted and exemplified by the founding fathers and over the years, had propelled the country to greatness.
“We owe a duty to these national heroes to keep their dreams alive by upholding these ideals, especially as we now confront opposing and misguided elements seeking to undo what has taken 60 years of our collective efforts to build.
“There is the need to join President Muhammadu Buhari and the majority of Nigerians to stand firm against forces that seek to divide, rather than unite us and honour the memories and sacrifices of our past heroes.
“Let us continue the process of building a strong, virile and prosperous nation of which we are all desirous,’’ he advised.
Bello reminded Nigerians that the FCT was also built on the ideals of unity and the vision of the nation’s founding fathers as a territory which every Nigerian could call home.
“Let us be inspired by the efforts of our heroes and work hard to uphold their vision,’’ the minister’s message read.
He urged the Archives and History Bureau to intensify efforts at telling the story of past heroes beyond the photo exhibitions and intellectual engagements on special occasions such as this.
“It is imperative that many people are made to understand the history of our great nation and appreciate why we need to forge ahead as an indivisible, united, strong and proud Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ the message added.
Bello stated that the theme of the exhibition was apt as it sought to draw consciousness to the acts of selflessness and sacrifices made by the founding fathers of the country.
The theme of the exhibition and symposium is “Celebrating Our Heroes Past’’.
Earlier, the Director of the bureau, Mr Peter Chukwukelu, stressed the need for proper records keeping and management.
Chukwukelu explained that the event was one of the series of annual symposia and exhibitions organised by the bureau.
“The occasion is unique because of its landmark significance in providing us the singular opportunity to relive our past experiences and cherished values as an independent great nation.
“We are gathered to be part of the independence symposium and one-week exhibition on the socio-cultural and political history of our great country, Nigeria in commemoration of our independence.’’ he said. (NAN)