The Managing Director of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has said Nigeria must harness its diversity for development and that the unity and peaceful coexistence among tribes in the country is non-negotiable.
Ogieh spoke at the weekend when the leadership of the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit.
He expressed his concern about the crises that were being reported in the North and urged the youths to formulate programmes that would enhance cohesion among all ethnic groups and to foster democratic ideals.
He stressed the need for peaceful coexistence among northerners and southerners, focusing on factors that bind them together, while playing down those that fan the embers of disunity.
While calling for true federalism, Ogieh said too much powers are concentrated at the centre and that there is an urgent need for restructuring of the polity.
Ogieh, who was conferred with an award of excellence: “Garkuwa Matasan Arewa (Shield of the North),” by the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria, expressed his gratitude and also used the opportunity to salute the Emir of Zaria, stating that he started his Rotary Club experience in the town with encouragement from the Emir.
He said that their objective in the club at the time was basically to render humanitarian services.
Earlier, the National President of the Council, Dr. Isah Abubakar, said the award was conferred on Ogieh because of his humanitarian services over the years.
Abubakar disclosed that Ogieh had been a major donor to the council, which has helped greatly in touching the lives of the women and youths across the country, thereby lifting them from abject poverty.
“The leadership of the council believes that Bashorun Askia Ogieh falls in the same historical line with Sir Ahmadu Bello, who was always on our minds, whilst his nomination for this prestigious award was being made,” he said.
The Youth Council President further stated that the honour was based on the leadership style that Ogieh has displayed in the discharge of his duties over the years, adding that he has also helped in building lives, through various empowerment programmes.