President Bola Tinubu has tasked Nigerians to endure the suffering emanating from the removal of fuel subsidy as a price that must be paid for a better tomorrow.
“These pains are the pains of birth, birth of a new nation. We know the removal of fuel subsidy has created some pains and that is why palliatives are being put in place.
“We can endure this for a moment; what we are going through today is for a better tomorrow. Nations are great because citizens have hope that tomorrow will be better than today,” he added.
The president was speaking in Abuja on Thursday at the public presentation of the book “Brutally Frank,” an autobiography of elder statesman, Edwin Clark.
Represented by George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Tinubu also called on traditional rulers and politicians to sustain the nation’s unity.
The president said all hands must be on deck to realise a great nation, and called for everyone to manage Nigeria’s diversity for the unity of the country.
“We are greater when we are introduced as Nigerians than when we are introduced on the basis of ethnicity.
“This country is structurally complex and structurally difficult but can never be difficult to manage.
“Our plurality, our diverse cultures, languages, religion, constitute the source of our strength.
“Since we came in, we have demonstrated enough for the management of this diversity through appointment of persons, citizens into key, strategic positions,” Mr Tinubu said.
The president, who noted that the country was going through a difficult phase, assured Nigerians that a new nation would soon be birthed.
The President described Mr Clark as a great man and an extraordinary citizen with a “household name throughout the country.”
He noted that “Clark is a part of the Nigerian legion, the Iroko of the South-South and the Eagle of the nation.”
Also speaking, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, chairman of the occasion, said the presence of dignitaries at the occasion was deserving to a man such as Mr Clark.
“It is deserving that at his ripe age of 96 years, the Nigerian nation could gather in this befitting manner to honour him and pay deserving respects to his towering legacy of national service.
“My relationship with the Clark family, unknown to many, has been enduring over the years and has been expressed in deep bonds of friendship and mutual respect.
“The period in which Nigeria emerged from its most challenging political turmoil was one that needed great dexterity and empathy in the arduous task of reconciliation, rehabilitation, reintegration, reconstruction and rebuilding our bonds of oneness.”
While recalling the days of how Mr Clark was chosen as Federal Commissioner, Mr Gowon said that, “there was no better Nigerian for the job of Information Minister at that time.
“That was when we needed to show our warmness and empathy for one another as a people.
“The need to fill in the void created by Chief Anthony Enahoro’s exit was what gave Clark the job of Minister in the government which I headed.
“He became my confidant and the voice of the government, fearlessly defending the government and projecting its image. I found comfort in discussing government and other issues with Clark.”
Similarly, former President Goodluck Jonathan described the book as a good political-history book that most Nigerians would be desirous of reading, adding that “It will be useful to our young people.”
Mr Jonathan said that Mr Clark was a person whose vision for Nigeria was “the security of this country and for the unity of this country.
“Clark is one of those few Nigerians that his name should be written in letters of gold in our political-history book.”
Also speaking, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said the author of the book was a true elder statesman and a phenomenal patriot.
“Clark has remained “Brutally Frank” in his submissions over the years. I am therefore not surprised that his autobiography is titled “Brutally Frank.”
“I have no doubt that the wisdom and perspectives shared in this great book, will offer us a chance to reflect on the journey we’ve undertaken as a society and to glean valuable lessons that can guide our future endeavours.”
In his vote of thanks, the author of the book, Mr Clark called for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The event had in attendance traditional rulers, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Amanayabo of Town-Brass, Alfred Ditte-Spiff; the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, serving and former governors and serving and non-serving senators.