A former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and other elder statesmen, Theophilus Danjuma, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, and Ike Nwachukwu on Wednesday urged Nigerian youths not to be part of action that would cause the breakup of Nigeria.
They said the youth should rather build on the legacies of the founding fathers of the country to sustain national unity.
They spoke separately at the launch of Emeka Anyaoku’s Institute of International Studies and Diplomacy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, restating the importance of peace and unity.
Abubakar said, “We must allow peace to reign without which development would be impossible. All together, there is strength in diversity. All hands must be on deck to make our great Nigeria greater.”
Nwachukwu, who chaired the occasion, said, “Nothing is wrong with restructuring, but it must be implemented without violence.”
Describing Nigeria as wonderful nation, Nwachukwu advised that the youth should not be part of her disintegration.
He described Anyaoku as a man with great wisdom whose knowledge in international relations and diplomacy had benefitted the world.
In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said the diplomatic service of Anyaoku informed the naming the institute after him.
Responding, Anyaoku said he was humbled by the encomiums showered on him and expressed appreciation to the university for honouring him.
While urging the youth to uphold the oneness of the country, Anyaoku said he devoted over 50 years of his lifetime to international service, promoting cordial relationship between nations, resolving political crisis as well as tackling global challenges, including climate change and terrorism.
The former secretary general of the Commonwealth noted that his major challenge had been his inability to document his personal papers in his diplomatic mission, which he said the institute had provided the platform for him to accomplish.
He said, “One major challenge I have is my inability to deposit my personal papers which arose during my service as the third secretary general of the Commonwealth.
“I am glad that Nnamdi Azikiwe University has provided the opportunity to help deposit my personal papers and books I have written.”