FULL TEXT OF A SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. OGBONNAYA ONU AS SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF TWO BOOKS AND 65TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF MAZI SAM OHUABUNWA HOLDING AT THE SHEHU MUSA YAR’ADUA CENTRE, ABUJA, ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015.

PROTOCOL:

It is with great joy that today, we are gathered here to celebrate the 65th birthday anniversary of one of our country’s shining stars. He is s a man of honour. A man of great ability. A man who loves his country and has worked hard for its peace and prosperity. I salute you. I greet you on this memorable occasion.

You have chosen this event to present two books; “The Port Harcourt Volunteer” and “Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm”. You have shown your love for knowledge and scholarship. You have shown your determination to continue to contribute to the development of our dear nation. We remain proud of you.

As I speak to you, our dear country has started on a new journey. Since May 29, 2015, we set out in a new direction. Gradually Nigeria is undergoing a major transformation. We are in the process of rediscovering those values that made us strong in the past, which we unfortunately discarded in the immediate past. As we read our newspapers, listen to the radio and watch the television, the tone of our conversation, the theme of our discussions have changed. We now, more than ever before, emphasize honour, integrity and duty in the lives of both the citizens and the country. It is these values that will help us continue successfully on this new journey no matter how rough the road may be or how steep the mountain could be. It is these values that will help us build strong institutions that will safeguard the rule of law such that no citizen can be above the law, strengthen our democracy, build a nation of equal opportunities for all, defend human rights and protect the press, civil societies, the weak and the poor. We thank President Buhari for this.

It is important for us to remember that the generation before us broke the barrier of foreign rule to make us free. They also worked hard to set free many others in different countries on our continent. It is the duty, the task for our generation, this generation, to build on the achievements of those before us to unite our country, secure our nation, work for peace and prosperity so as to guarantee the happiness of Nigerians. This can be achieved if we tirelessly work to ensure that the right leadership continue to govern our country.

I am convinced that because the Buhari Administration is a child of the supreme will of the Nigerian people, it will not rest until it ensures that the votes count and the voter matters in our electoral process. Some work has been done, but a lot more needs to be done. I am confident that day in, day out, the APC led Federal Government will work in pursuit of electoral reforms in order to ensure that the vote is the manure that will enrich our soil to enable democracy blossom and flourish.

In a democracy, the will of the people must be sacred and inviolable. It is only when this is achieved, that we can sustain good governance, energize healthy competition in our multi-party democracy and deepen the role of the people as the ultimate source of popular sovereignty in a constitutional democracy. No effort will be spared to achieve this. No sacrifice will be too much to make for this to be realized.

Finally, most distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the challenge of rebuilding our beloved country is a task for all of us; man or woman, boy or girl, rich or poor. Together, we must remain determined and committed to ensure that we succeed.

Once again, congratulations to the worthy celebrant. I wish you many more fruitful years of service to our fatherland.

God Bless Nigeria!

Thank you so much!!

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