Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has said that the Nigerian nation is at the moment, in need of redefinition and moral re-armament to grow the economy in a way that it will impact positively on the lives of the people.
The Governor stated this at the Muson Centre, Onikan during 17th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture with the theme: “The State of the Nigerian Nation, Redefining our Values” to commemorate the 71st birthday of the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr Mike Okonkwo.
Governor Ambode, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said: “To really change the course of our nation, we all have to be ambassadors with resolute commitment to change our attitude and embrace moral values and etiquettes that will assist the task of national development. There is nowhere in the world where Governments have successfully revamped their economy without the support of the citizens”.
He called on Nigerians to emulate the sound initiatives of personalities like Bishop Okonkwo who has demonstrated strong commitment through his missionary work and other platforms like the annual lecture to steer the course of social development and empowerment of the common man.
He added that since year 2000, the annual lecture has become a warehouse of ideas for socio-economic and political enlightenment and springboard of solutions for myriads of challenges confronting the Nigerian nation.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and former Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Chief Arthur Mbanefo charged all Nigerians to take an active part in the affairs of the country, saying “the people should be ready to stand up for what they believe in abou the country.
The Director of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Frank Nwenke II, who was one of the guest speakers, said that Nigerians in redefining their values must go back to the unadulterated fulfillment of their roles as parents by paying attention to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
He added that parents must nurture their children in every sense in order to pre-empt the emergence of generations of insurgents, citing personal experience of his mentor.
Also speaking, an Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Sesan said the way to secure the nation’s future is to ensure that young people begin to chart new territories by believing in themselves, adding that for a better nation, Nigerians need to redefine their values and build on the ongoing efforts in order to move from a status – based economy to the one that rewards innovation and celebrates excellence over mediocrity.
While appreciating the gathering, the celebrant and presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo advised Nigerians to inculcate in our youths good behaviour in order to be agents of change.
Prizes were presented to winners of the Bishop Mike Okonkwo Competition for Nigerian Secondary schools including Miss Fadilah Saliu- Ahmed from Zamani College, Kaduna who emerged the overall winner, Miss Barakat Adebayo from Roshallom International School, Lagos who came second and Miss Wuraola Adeoye from Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos who emerged as second runner-up.