Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, says all leaders, irrespective of political affiliations, must join hands to salvage Nigeria.
Governor Ortom stated this Thursday at the launch of the Solomon Lar Leadership Institute and presentation of an autobiography of the late nationalist entitled, “Chronicles of the Rainbow” held at the Nigerian Air Force, NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
He reiterated his earlier position that all is not well with Nigeria and advocated the need for leaders and citizens to complement each other toward salvaging the country.
He said, “As a country, let us know that the Bible says that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free. It is only when we say the truth, when we walk the truth, when we act the truth, that we will be free.
“Let nobody deceive anyone that it is well with Nigeria. Nigeria is sick. All is not well with our country. Nigeria is on oxygen and all hands must be on deck for us to salvage this country.”
He emphasised the need for synergy from all leaders to redeem the country, insisting that, “We need to work together. President Buhari cannot do it alone. We must join hands with him by telling him the truth. The speaker House of Representatives or the Senate president cannot do it alone. The governors cannot do it alone.”
The governor said, “Solomon Lar was a patriot, an emancipator and a nationalist who stood for humanity and fought for the rights of all irrespective of their tribe or background” and urged leaders to emulate the ideals he stood for.
While calling on leaders and citizens to emulate the examples of Lar, the governor said, “Let us take the examples of this man that we are celebrating today. Let us look at his life, he stood for justice, equity and fairness.
“Let us ask ourselves today, are we standing for justice? Are we standing for fairness? Are we standing for equity? Are we standing for the rule of law?”
Governor Ortom who also represented his governor colleagues, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Seyi Makinde and Okezie Ikpeazu of Enugu, Oyo and Abia state respectively donated to support the launching of the Solomon Lar Leadership Institute as well the book.
The chairman of the occasion and former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan said Lar played politics of inclusion, honesty, courage and patriotism, emphasising that “As we move towards the 2023 elections, I urge that we all as critical stakeholders embrace Lar’s politics of inclusion and unity.”
The wife of the late nationalist, Professor Mary Lar, said her husband was a man of peace who believed in the rule of law and had the ability to apply the principle of inclusiveness so that people could not complain of marginalization.
She expressed appreciation to all guests cutting across different political backgrounds who graced the event, saying the family was overwhelmed by the show of love and solidarity.
Prof Lar promised that the family will continue to sustain the legacy of inclusiveness the late nationalist stood for.
Prominent Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the secretary to government of the federation, Boss Mustapha; speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former presidents of the Senate, David Mark, Bukola Saraki; former Vice President Namadi Sambo, Governors Simon Lalong, Aminu Tambuwal of Plateau and Sokoto states respectively graced the event.
The presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Labour Party’s vice-presidential candidate, Dr Baba-Ahmed Datti; Emir of Keffi, Justice Sidi Bage Mohammed (rtd); PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu; APC national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, among other dignitaries, also graced the occasion.