Our Insecurity Challenges Are Temporary – Aregbesola
I made the assertion at the presentation of an award of the ‘best minister of the year 2022’ to me at the 10th edition of the Heroes of Democracy Award Africa which held at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
“Our nation is going through challenges, especially on security. These challenges are temporary and do not define us. We are defined by the greatness of the Nigerian people, in their strength, ingenuity and resilience, as exemplified by the quality of the recipients of today’s awards.
“We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the most high for the stormy waters we have waded through and the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today,” the minister informed the gathering.
Other awardees at the event are the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who won Legislative Personality of the Decade Award; Governor of Niger State, Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello, who won the Man of the Year Award; Businessman and 2023 APC Presidential Aspirant, Mr. Tein Jack-Rich, who won Democracy Spotlight Politician of the year; Sen. Barau Jibrin, who won Senator of the Year Award amongst several others.
The event was attended by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy Agba; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore; Business Tyconn, Alh. Sulieman Baba Ali; Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa; Nigeria Immigration Service, Idris Isah Jere amongst several others.
Read my full speech from the event below;
REMARKS BY THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR, OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA, ON HIS INVESTITURE AS THE BEST MINISTER OF THE YEAR 2022, HELD AT THE CONGRESS HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA, ON THURSDAY AUGUST 22, 2022
WE ALL HAVE THE SEED OF GREATNESS
It gives me great pleasure to be part of this fine gathering in celebrating the finest in ideals and the people who pulled these through. I must therefore thank the organisers for the kind invitation to this event, Democracy Heroes Award Africa, and for the honour of the award of the best minister of the year 2022 bestowed on me.
At my age and the goodness of the good Lord I have been privileged to enjoy, I do not believe an award will add more to me or subtract from my worth. I was a two term commissioner in Lagos and a two term governor in Osun. I have received, quite unsolicited, a surfeit of awards, all celebrating the excellence God has helped me to bring to my assignments.
Our nation is going through challenges, especially on security. These challenges are temporary and do not define us. We aredefined by the greatness of the Nigerian people, in theirstrength, ingenuity and resilience, as exemplified by the quality of the recipients of today’s awards.
We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the most high for the stormy waters we have waded through and the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today.
We are celebrating in this hall the demonstrated greatness of some of us today, but we all have the seed of greatness in us. Achieving much and overcoming challenges requires demonstrating leadership. Some of us have the erroneous belief that only those who occupy the topmost positions are the leaders. This is not necessarily true. We are all required to demonstrate leadership in any position we occupy by doing what is the best at all times and being excellent in what we do.
A child that admonishes another child not to write on the wall has demonstrated leadership in keeping the wall clean and undefaced. A janitor that never comes late to the office to open the door for others to resume work is a leader. A driver that never fails to take his passengers to their destination peacefully and in one whole piece is a leader.
That little Dutch boy that stuck his little finger in a little hole on a dyke, in a cold wintery morning, saved his community from flooding. He was a leader, for that heroic act.
My journey today began with my passion for excellence from my primary school days, through secondary and tertiary education. I have learnt that challenges are inevitable and they are meant to be solved. I came from an ideological tradition that places humanity in the centre of the universe and deprecates self. All our actions – physical, social, economic and political – should advance the cause of humanity. We therefore strive to solve all problems, as humanly possible and provide the greatest good for the greatest number.
These, and the grace of God, prepared and recommend me for every high office I have held and have been my guiding principles.
When I was governor in Osun, my administration made the largest investment in education. This was borne of my belief that providing quality education for the mass of the people is the foundation of development and preparing for the future. I am therefore calling on the youths to strive for self-development and pursuit of excellence in our quest for development and building a great nation.
But in all honesty, I have never been fazed by awards. However, given the open and transparent efforts made by the organisers and the extent to which they have gone to get the opinion of a cross section of Nigerians on their choice for the award, I am indeed humbled by their honest choice. It is my sincere wish that the award will inspire young people, upcoming politicians and others who are still looking forward to fulfilment in life. I want them to know that passion, dedication and doggedness are worthy virtues to attaining success and recognition.
Once again, I thank the organisers for counting me worthy for nomination and the distinguished audience for your being here.
I must especially thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the privilege to serve in government as minister. I thank most profoundly the Permanent Secretary, Directors, the CGs of the four agencies and other staff of the Ministry of Interior that have made my work easier.
I thank you all for your kind attention.