Prof. Shalom Chinedu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), Covenant University, Ota, on Sunday called on Nigerians to build a strong nation out of the multi ethnic nationalities in the country.
Chinedu made the call in his keynote address at the 24th Biennial National Convention of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA) in Ota, Ogun.
The theme of the convention was: “Restoring the Dignity of the Nigerian Man in a Recessed Economy”.
The deputy vice-chancellor said that the task of blending the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria into a united nation was not vigorously pursued after independence.
“This, I believe, is where our founding fathers got it wrong: They mistook independence to mean an end rather than beginning of nationhood.
“This left the nation vulnerable to the divisive tendencies of ethnicity resulting in the collapse of the first republic,” Chinedu said.
He called for an end to militancy and insurgency which had
continued to disrupt economic activities in different regions of the country.
On the fight against corruption, Chinedu urged the Federal Government to strengthen the law and give teeth to the enforcement drive of the nation’s graft agencies.
He said that the common man had been at the receiving of the nation’s economic woes caused largely by endemic corruption and bad leadership.
“How do we restore the dignity of the Nigerian man in a recessed economy? An understanding of where we got it wrong as a nation will help us identify ways of getting it done,” he said.
Chief Andrew Oru, National President, UNAA, said the convention theme was carefully chosen to proffer solutions on how to restore the eroding dignity of the Nigerian man which was being challenged due to the economic downturn in the country.
NAN reports that 10 alumni, including Kingsley Okolo, Ijora Service Manager of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, received various awards for their selfless services to society.