By Adam Alqali
Nigerians have been urged to revive the now lost culture of volunteerism among the citizens of the country. This call was made by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle while speaking as a panelist at a roundtable on reviving volunteerism culture last week Thursday in Abuja. The roundtable which was themed: Rekindling the Spirit and Culture of Volunteerism in Nigeria was organized by The Kukah Centre (TKC) in collaboration with the Department of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).
“I think the recent attacks [by Boko Haram] are a clarion-call on not only the government but also citizens to volunteer to help Nigerians across all faiths that have been displaced; volunteerism and community service can help break down stereotypes. Let me commend the effort of Nigerians for initiatives like the NYSC which will help inspire youth to go into volunteerism,” said Mr James Entwistle.
Also speaking, another panelist, Ms Nneka Eze, an associate partner at the consultancy, Dalberg Development Advisors said volunteerism was perhaps shifting from rural areas to cities adding that the challenge was how to “continue volunteerism as we transition”.
Speaking on the activities of his organization, Rotary International, Dr Kazeem Mustapha, a physician and former district governor of Rotary Club 9125 said Rotary has since 1905 been trying to institutionalize volunteerism in different countries across the world. “Rotary is promoting high standard in business, it is advancing world peace and understanding, education as well as empowering communities.”
While presenting a book titled: Peace and Reconciliation: A Nigerian Conversation, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, who was represented by the Emir of Doma Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Ogah called on all Nigerians to volunteer to make the country great in their various places of worship (mosques and churches) as well as communities. “Posterity will judge us for the quality of our contribution to the generation of Nigerians unborn. All Nigerians (Christians, Muslims, and pagans) must shun selfishness so that Nigeria will be a better place,” he said.