The need for a strong and united Nigeria for progress and development in the country has been emphasized.
The emphasis came from former presidential candidate and National Chairman of the Alliance National Party, Alhaji Mashood Shittu, while speaking in Umuahia, where he represented the governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, on the occasion of 66 years birthday celebration of an Umuahia-based business mogul, High Chief Uche James Akwukwaegbu, in his Amuzukwu Ibeku, Umuahia country home.
Shittu, who is the Special Adviser to Governor Yusuf on External Affairs and leader of the Kwankwasiyya Movement in North Central, said, “It is not easy in Nigeria of today to live up to 66 years because of hardship.”
He averred that Akwukwaegbu living up to 66 years in present day Nigeria was as a result of his achievements, stating, “If he had lived a wasteful life, he may not be alive today, but he lived a peaceful and developed life, hence he has a rest of mind.”
Speaking on his impression of Abia State, Shittu said that this was his first time of visiting the state, adding, “I told my friends from far away that for Nigeria to evolve as a nation, it is only when we visit each other that you will see that we need to build that united bridge that we always preach.
“We have been sharing words about Nigeria, especially about the court case of NNPP, and all that I heard from the people here in Abia State was that NNPP is Kano, but they made it to be a national issue. The people of Umuahia are friendly.”
Speaking on the celebrant, Chief Akwukwaegbu, Shittu said, “He is worth the congratulatory message we are passing across to him. We have been friendly and enjoy good relationship with each other. We also remembered his relationship with Kwankwasiyya. I have come to represent the Kwankwasiya family here in Umuahia and to celebrate with him.
“He is a philanthropist, a man who has been generous. With the little I have seen here, with the present economic situation and living index, living up to 66 years in the country now is not easy, but with Chief Akwukwaegbu, you can see his impact on humanity, especially on his immediate environment and community and the state at large.
“His contributions to the development of this country means a lot to us, and that made us fly all the way from Abuja to Umuahia to support and celebrate with him on the auspicious occasion of his 66 years of age, as he contributed a lot to the development of Nigeria, and therefore a man that is worth celebrating at 66 years old.
“He is hardworking man and a man of integrity. I don’t know that Umuahia is so friendly and so peaceful, so accommodating indeed. I was so impressed and so grateful to the people of Abia State for their prayers and support and insistence that Kano must not be taken away from the NNPP because they know that we won the election.
“I was happy when I heard them here repeating same that we are all one. That means, when I go home, I will pass a strong message that we need to build a strong unity between ourselves as a nation in Nigeria.”
Representing the Abia State governor at the celebration was his Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Commerce, Chimezie Ukaegbu, who extolled the virtues of the celebrant, thanking him for being a philanthropist and for his immense contribution to many lives and the community in particular.”
National Secretary of Ibeku Youths Association, Chibuzor Onwukamuche, chairman of the occasion, Barr Okey Amaechi, SAN, the MD Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Prof Onyebuchi Azubuike, among others, expressed their happiness that the celebrant was a blessing to Ibeku community.
The occasion was marked by a church service and traditional dances.