A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to join hands to build a better country.
Mr. Tinubu spoke Saturday while receiving an award as The Sun Newspapers Man of the Year in Lagos.
”We have come to a point where there is no turning back for there is nothing worthy of the sacrifices so recently made to turn back to,” said Mr. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State.
“We have reached the juncture at which we must reform our institutions, rid our country of corruption or admit that we have mortgaged away the good future due us.
“The infrastructural decay of past decades, the unemployment time bomb, the challenging security situation make a compelling case for us all to join with this government to embrace a new politics that will help build a new country.
Mr. Tinubu said he felt honoured to be chosen for the award, adding that the decision to pick him was arrived after a rigorous process.
“I am humble enough to know that the Sun could have chosen any one of several figures,” he said.
“Their decision would not have been gainsaid. I think particularly of the man at the helm of affairs and who won the election, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Yet, I am mindful enough to realize such awards do not come frequently and that I better grab the good thing given me.”
The former Lagos State governor thanked The Sun newspapers for recognizing his “modest efforts’ at transforming the country.
“What was accomplished in 2015 was not a singular effort. It was done through the collective love and labour of millions of Nigerians. A handful of them were well known.
“Most of them are hardworking anonymous people who together constitute the backbone and great strength of this nation. It was this collective effort that produced the unprecedented electoral victory in 2015.
“Therefore, I accept this award on behalf of all the people who contributed to opening a vitally new chapter in the book of our national history. Many sacrificed greatly to achieve this great turn of events. Some practically surrendered their businesses.
“Some provided funds. Especially that elderly 90-year old woman, Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara who donated 1 million Naira, her life savings for the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari . (May Her Soul Rest in Peace).
“Others worked ceaselessly, hour after hour, day after day until the historic job was done. Many hit the campaign trail day and night from Katsina to Lagos. I reserve a special recognition and commendation for the youth across this nation who formed part of the foot soldiers in the struggle for change. It is to these heroes that I dedicate this award.”
Mr. Tinubu urged The Sun and other media organizations to employ journalism as a tool for development.
“Journalism must become a force for good and a voice against injustice, poverty and discrimination,” he said.
“It must always speak right to might. You must be objective. You must not be a partner to power or to those who have lost power. Your role is that of guardian and herald of the truth for the people themselves.
“Do that and you will shine in a way that will make the name of this newspaper more than apt. The media will stand the best of time and with other patriots work to make Nigeria great again.”