African Director, International Association of World Peace Advocates, IAWPA, Dr John Metchie, has called on the main opposition leaders, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and others to heed the call by President Bola Tinubu to put political differences behind and join hands with him to build a united Nigeria.
He said the President’s call for national healing is timely and testifies to his humility and genuine concern and commitment to the good of Nigeria.
Metchie made the call in Nairobi Kenya, and where he is attending a four-day UN-Habitat Assembly programme on Environment.
He said he was sure most Nigerians have not taken time to go through the President’s inaugural speech because it was muffled by the controversies surrounding the oil subsidy removal.
Quoting former United States President, Barack Obama, Metchie said “there is a time for politics and a time for nation-building”, adding that President Tinubu also made a clear demarcation between the two in his inaugural speech and specifically acknowledged that becoming the president does not make him superior or a better Nigerian than opposition leaders and other citizens.
The President, in his victory speech, said: “My victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic. They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore. They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.”
He said that Tinubu by the statement has once again justified himself as a true democrat by standing on his age-long conviction in the rule of law and confidence in the nation’s judicial system.
However, Metchie said the guiding principles of the Tinubu administration, as contained in his inaugural speech clearly show that the President was determined to deviate positively from the way things were done in the past and therefore said the President needs all hands on deck to build new Nigeria of our dream.
His words: “Among other inspiring parts of the President’s speech, my hope in a better Nigeria was rekindled with the guiding principles of the Tinubu administration which are that Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law. We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our sub-region. We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end to extreme poverty.
“In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently. Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.”
The IAWPA’s African Director, therefore, urged leaders of the opposition and all Nigerians to take a few minutes and read President Tinubu’s inaugural speech without prejudice and political colouration, but with an open mind, as according to him, the speech represents hope, unity and progress of Nigeria.