Former Chief of Army Staff and Ex-Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged Nigerians to strive for excellence in their various roles to support nation building.
Buratai said this at the 5th Edition of the Nigeria News Magazine Award 2023 with the theme “Providing a Podium for the Unsong Hero”, held in Abuja.
He also emphasised the important need of recognising and celebrating excellence, saying it would encourage hard work, dedication and mentorship in service delivery.
He commended the News magazine for recognising those who had contributed to the nation through hard work, dedication, loyalty and patriotism.
The former army chief said that the recognition of a prominent traditional ruler, Oba Hammeed Makama, the Olowu of Owu-Kuta Kingdom, as Legendary Icon of the Year, as well as other nominations, were well deserved.
“Oba Makama is a man that should be accorded all the honour that is deserved as an icon, a legendary icon, a true patriot, a true Nigerian traditional leader.
“You have done well for your community, you have done well for the southwest and you have done well for Nigeria,” he said.
Buratai noted that the serving and retired military officers that were recognised had stood in the warfront against insurgency, insecurity and in defending the nation against elements that were bent on sabotaging and subverting Nigeria’s sovereignty.
According to him, retired Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has done the Nigerian Army, the armed forces and the country proud in the various capacities he served.
“He performed as a Brigade Commander, as GOC, as Commandant, Depot Nigerian Army, as Director General of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, as well as Corps Commander, Infantry Corps until his retirement.
“As a loyal Nigerian and as a trained soldier, you must at all costs, show loyalty to the constituted authority and you must show loyalty to your leaders,” he said.
He congratulated President Bola Tinubu on his leadership, commitment and doggedness in spite of the daunting challenges facing the nation.
He called on all Nigerians not to lose hope, adding that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
In his remarks, Oba Hameed Makama, said the nation could only attain the desired development when there is peace in the land.
The royal father, who said he had been a consistent supporter of security operatives and the military, dedicated the award to peace and unity in Nigeria.
He said there was need to ensure adequate funding for security agencies to enhance their capacity to secure the nation.
The Oba called for unity among all segments of the society to ensure progress in Nigeria.