The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has urged Nigerians to renew their commitment to the prosperity, growth and development of the nation.
Mustapha, who made the call on the occasion of his 65th birthday, on Saturday in Abuja, said Nigerians could do so by contributing more to nation building and shunning all forms of negative tendencies.
The SGF noted that it had never been in doubt, that Nigerians had the unique strengths and characters to overcome their challenges collectively.
He said that what the country needed, more than ever before, was to galvanise these unique qualities for the good of all as permissible under a democratic system.
“Nigeria is known for its human and material resources. We are not where we want to be as a nation, but the craft of building of nationhood is a gradual process.
“We have had our fair share of crises, but we have overcome those crises and the future is bright,” he said.
Mustapha noted that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the country had exited economic recessions in record time.
He added that most established democracies were still battling with recession when the country had exited it, urging Nigerians to consciously acknowledge the fact that this remained their nation.
“This is our country, where everybody has the opportunity to ventilate aspirations. We have to get ourselves out of the mode of thinking that Nigeria is not working for us.
“You see the power of life and death is in the tongue. What you say about your country is what you get,” he said.
He reiterated that building a nation was a gradual process, a sustainable enduring process, and not a sprint.
Mustapha, who is also the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said the process of nation building was not a marathon.
“Most of the democracies that we want to compare ourselves with are 300 years while some are 400 years.
“As a matter fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the (global) system. Systems that we thought were perfect; one little virus came in and exposed the world.
“We must, at this point, imbibe the core values of democracy, by respecting each other’s rights and pursue individual goals in tandem with our national objectives for a better Nigeria,” he said.
President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, thanked Mustapha for his services.
The president also declared his admiration and respect for his SGF.
Similarly, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, congratulated Mustapha on his 65th birthday anniversary.
Yemi-Esan said the civil service would continue to support the SGF with quality manpower and the implementation of government policies.
He promised to deepen the tripod collaboration between the office of the SGF, head of the civil service and the Federal Civil Service Commission for the needed reforms of the public service.
Also speaking, Wife of the SGF, Mrs Fumilayo Mustapha, noted the enormity of the SGF’s work.
“Every day, he draws his wisdom from God, and God has been guiding him and helping him to articulate and to help him with the responsibilities that he holds for this nation,” she said. (NAN)