Nigerians Must Always Thank Late Nnamdi Azikiwe For Keeping Nigeria United – Ex-President Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he convened the 2014 National Conference with the intention to create an environment for Nigerians to address issues pushing citizens towards divisive politics and seeds of discord.

Jonathan stated this in his remarks at the “2nd Igbo Nsukka Zik Annual Merit Award”, in memory of the first Nigerian President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Goodluck Jonathan

He added that the late Nnamdi Azikiwe’s ideals, philosophy and wisdom were very relevant at the moment as Nigerians sought to chart a way forward for the country.

The former president said, “When I convened the 2014 National Conference as President, my intention was to create an environment that would enable our citizens to dispassionately address those issues that are pushing us towards divisive politics and sowing the seeds of discord in our polity.
“I believe that, in a complex and diverse country like ours, the journey of nationhood and march to greatness is not a sprint but a marathon.
“However, to get it right, we need to do much more to unite our people and integrate our society, in order to build a nation of selfless patriots and citizens, citizens as defined by the Greek philosophers.
“That is the type of country envisioned by our nationalists.
“The nation owes Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria who was in office from 1963 to 1966, a debt of gratitude. His outstanding role while working with other great nationalists to secure the independence we enjoy today was legendary.
“Nigerians of different generations will continue to remember his extraordinary efforts towards keeping Nigeria one, and his belief in Nigeria’s greatness anchored on equity, justice, and inclusion.”
Jonathan also appreciated the solidarity and warm reception he always received from the people of the South-East of Nigeria.

“The unconditional solidarity South Easterners have always accorded me, reinforces my hope in the fact that we can truly fraternise with one another as citizens of one country, no matter our tribe and tongue.
“It also shows that Ndigbo has accepted me as one of their own, in spite of the fact that I come from the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“When my grandmother named me Azikiwe, she probably had no inkling of the meaning of the name, other than the fact that she was enamored with the achievements of the great nationalist, the Great Zik of Africa.”
“I have come to understand that the name symbolizes peace, understanding, greatness, and solidarity in unity,” Jonathan added.

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