The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari, says patriotism and active citizens participation will help Nigeria to achieve national growth and development.
Abari said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a news conference to commemorate the 2023 National Citizens and Patriots’ Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Symbols Day is celebrated every Sept.16, while Citizens and Patriots Day is commemorated every Sept. 30.
”The importance of patriotism to national development cannot be overemphasised as it takes patriotic citizens to develop a nation and citizenship without patriotism is perhaps, the greatest bane of any nation or community.
“It goes without saying that the Nigeria of our dreams can only be achieved by a collective effort of patriotic citizens.
“It is the love we individually have for our fatherland that will translate into our posture towards the rule of law,
constituted authority, national interest, national image and other issues connected to patriotism,” he said.
The director-general said good citizenship stemmed from patriotism, adding that, the concept of citizenship had evolved beyond having a legal right to participate in the affairs of the state.
“Today, it connotes having a personal sense of belonging to a given community. Culturally, citizenship speaks to the consciousness of a common cultural heritage with specific fellows.
“Therefore, for us as Nigerian citizens to contribute meaningfully to the development of our nation, we must possess a personal sense of belonging in Nigeria while respecting and upholding our cultural heritage as a people.
“Such disposition is the bedrock of patriotism and national heroism,” he said.
He said that the symbols day was observed yearly to remind Nigerians when the country’s Coat-of-Arms and National Ordinance was signed into law in 1960 ahead of Nigeria’s Independence Day.
“The day is used to reemphasise the need for citizens to handle Nigeria’s national symbols with pride, loyalty and respect as instruments that represent the sovereignty and presence of Nigeria.
“These national symbols include the Nigerian Constitution, National Flag, National Anthem, National Prayer, National Pledge, Coat-of-Arms, Seal of the Nigerian President, Nigerian Passport, National Identity Card and the National currency.
“Sept. 30 is also used to celebrate citizens who have made outstanding patriotic contributions to national development,” Abari said. (NAN)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria