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ZONING: DISCARD PRIMORDIAL LOYALTIES – JONATHAN

By NBF News

For the first time, President Goodluck Jonathan made a veiled reference to the ongoing debate on zoning as he called on Nigerians to close ranks for the survival of the nation and discard primordial loyalties that are inimical to the unity, peace and growth of the country.

The President made the call on Thursday in Abuja after conferring national honours on 186 distinguished Nigerians. He spoke as the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo who was conferred with the honour of Commander of Federal Republic (CFR) declared a total war on kidnappers.

Jonathan who tasked Nigerians on the need to always pursue excellence in whatever productive activity they find themselves, said his administration would continue to provide leadership as it promotes the cheering values of honesty in public spheres, hardwork, patriotism and excellence.

According to him, 'These are necessary ingredients to make the dreams of the great Nigeria Project a reality.'

He said the times call for men and women who are willing to live above primordial loyalties to commit their all, to general good. Jonathan said as the country celebrates her golden Jubilee, 'the golden rule henceforth, from this period of our golden jubilee should be that whether at home or abroad, Nigerians should always perform excellently in whatever productive activity they found themselves.'

The President called on the recipients to show more dedication, patriotism and love for God and country.

'This administration will continue to provide leadership as it promotes the cheering values of honesty in the public spheres, hard work, patriotism and excellence. These are necessary ingredients to make the dreams of the great Nigeria Project a reality.

The times called for men and women who are willing to live above primordial loyalties to commit their all to general good. This administration clearly appreciates the enormity of the challenge and the task of national transformation in which we have committed ourselves. We are fully aware that success can only come through the dedication and committed efforts of all patriotic Nigerians.

The award should inspire you into given more dedicated service to God, country and community. By this award, you have become ambassadors of hope and agents of change. You owe a duty to this generation of Nigerians and to our common posterity to always live up the higher standards to which you were held.'

Also speaking at the event, a recipient of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) and former Finance Minister Mrs. Okonjo Iweala called on Nigerians to always believe in their country and to show dedication and patriotism.

She further expressed the need for more women to be honoured in order to spur their spirit and sense of belonging to the country. The Inspector General of Police who spoke with Daily Sun after the ceremony said, transformational leadership amounts to innovations like the ability to move the men along with you to achieve positive results.

He said with the award, hard times now await kidnappers, as there would be no hiding place for them.

'Kidnappers will now have a good run for their money; they better drop their weapons now otherwise they will face the full wrath of the law. Kidnapping is not only peculiar to Nigeria, it is taking place in other countries, Mexico and other Latin Americans countries. It is a new phenomenon but we shall overcome it by doing those things that we tell people not to do. Don't let anybody hold you to ransom. We have taken possession of technological aids that will assist us in combating the scourge.'

Former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Rear Admiral Mike Akhigbe, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and Former Senate President in the second republic, Dr. Joseph Wayas were conferred with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

Also, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Patricia Etteh, Alhjai Ghali Umar Na' Abba, Chief of Staff to President Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadome were awarded with (CFR) honoury award. Others include the Chiarman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], Mrs. Farida Waziri (OFR), Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Mallam, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (OON); Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) (MON) among others.