AMBASSADOR Hussaini Coomassie, the National Coordinator of Project One Nigeria, has called on Northern Nigerian leaders at all levels to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts toward building lasting peace in the North East.
He made the call on Friday night in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the Northern Nigeria Peace Awards (NNPA) held in Abuja.
“The president’s effort must be complemented to restore lasting peace and meaningful development in the North East.
“Looking at the challenges we are having in the North in terms of peace and education, northern leaders and youth vanguards from the region need to do more in supporting Mr President.
“I call on not only on political leaders but also religious leaders and other philanthropic individuals to make the necessary sacrifices and contributions in the rebuilding process of the region,” he urged.
Coomassie, who received the “Northern Nigeria Peace Icon of the Year” award at the event, noted that the North East was very strategic to the socio-economic development of the entire region.
He said that the peace and security or otherwise of states in the North East could affect other states in the region one way or the other.
According him, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment have become more evident in the region because of insurgency and long period of neglect by leaders.
He said that for the region to quickly recover, stakeholders must join government in the rebuilding process.
“Everybody must be willing to make honest sacrifices and contributions, especially in empowering the youths and other vulnerable people from the region.
“It will amount to hypocrisy for someone to go help the orphans and the less privileged and then carry cameramen to publicise what he or she is doing.
“There are people in hospitals that just need a little sum of money for their medical bills, and many leaders are out there spending money extravagantly on themselves.
“The young people from the region must be empowered and make self-reliant, no matter how little, “he added.
NAN reports that the Northern Nigeria Peace Awards was organised by the Peace Ambassador Agency, an NGO that advocates and promotes peace and national unity.
Gov Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, and Alhaji Ibrahim Comassie, the Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum were also honoured with the Peace Awards.
Other awardees include Alhaji Danjuma Bawa, the National Secretary, Arewa Consultative Forum and Ibrahim Yusuf, management and leadership expert, who received the Youth Role Model Awards.