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Good People, Great Nation

By Uche Nworah (uchenworah@yahoo.com)

Nigeria has unveiled a new logo and slogan for its national rebranding campaign which the Information and Communications Minister, Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili says signals the march towards national re-birth. The slogan selected was Good People, Great Nation while the logo is simply the word – Nigeria but creatively interpreted.

At the unveiling ceremony on Tuesday, March 17th 2009 at the International Conference Centre - Abuja, several prominent Nigerians and members of the civil society, organized labour, private sector and students took turns in expressing their hope for a better Nigeria and their desire for a corrupt-free Nigeria and one that guarantees individual rights and liberties.

Nigerian President, Umar Yar’Adua was represented at the occasion by the Vice President Dr. Jonathan Goodluck and he urged Nigerians to support the campaign through value re-orientation pointing out that nation rebranding should not be seen as just a one-event affair. He decried the situation where the activities of a few Nigerians have come to taint the world’s perception of Nigerians and Nigeria.

General Yakubu Gowon, ex-Head of State and Chairman of the Occasion praised the Pete Edochie led- National Rebranding Committee for their choice of logo and slogan selected from thousands of entries sent in by Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, Senator Ayogu Eze who represented Senate President Senator David Mark at the occasion said that the National Assembly will support the Ministry of Information and Communications in the re-branding project asking that all Nigerians should be carried along in the process.

His House of Representatives counterpart, Honourable Dino Malaye represented the Speaker Dimeji Bankole and he delivered a well received speech that had the whole house applauding him every step. In a firebrand but frank tone, he advised that Re-branding should start from the top, from the President and then cascading down to the Vice President and top Public officials who have a moral duty to uphold the rule of law at all times. He spoke on the need for genuine electoral reforms and care for citizen’s welfare. In a lighter mood, he advised that those entrusted with the re-branding campaign should not use the opportunity to rebrand their pockets promising that the National Assembly will be watching on behalf of Nigerians. Prof. (Mrs.) Akunyili had earlier in her speech promised that her ministry will publish twice yearly a statement of account of the re-branding project.

With this, it is hoped that Nigerians will begin to reject the negative labels and adjectives used to describe and qualify both country and citizens by the western media and even by Nigerians themselves, and strive to do good, to think of nation first and stand proud and tall amongst other citizens of the world. As the slogan suggests, Nigeria is a great nation of good people.

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