Henceforth no continental dishes will be served at government events in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan directed on Tuesday in his Democracy Day speech broadcast live from his office in Abuja.
Jonathan’s directive is obviously in promotion of the “cassava bread” policy of his government. He said Nigerians must be encouraged to eat local foods.
“We must use our population to create markets for what we produce. We must grow local, buy local and eat local. To promote this, I have directed that all official functions of government serve local foods, especially our local rice and cassava bread and other foods. In the State House, I am faithfully keeping to my promise of eating cassava bread and local rice,” he said.
Only last week, the House of Representatives has rejected the President’s Bill prescribing 50 per cent of cassava in the making of bread.
The lawmakers said enacting such a law would be abridging the rights of the citizens to their choice of food and that using cassava to produce bread would constitute health hazard to diabetic Nigerians.
Among other highlights of the Presidential broadcast was the intention of the Federal Government to establish a presidential museum in Abuja.
The museum, Jonathan explained, would catalogue the lives of Nigeria’s former presidents since independence in 1960.
He said, “Within two years, it would be exactly 100 years since the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated and Nigeria was born. We need a lot more introspection, even as we look forward.
“We must take steps to heal the wounds of the past and work together, as a people with a shared destiny under one flag. We must strengthen our collective memory, draw strength from our history, and build bridges of unity to take our country to greater heights.
“It is partly for this and other reasons, that I have directed, as part of the activities marking today’s Democracy Day, that all due processes should be initiated for the building of a Presidential Museum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
“This museum will document the lives and times of Nigeria’s Presidents and Heads of Government since 1960, and remind us, by extension, of the high points of our national history.”
Jonathan also reiterated his administration’s resolve to continue to confront the current spate of terrorism in the country headlong.
He said “As President, it is my solemn duty to defend the Constitution of this country. That includes the obligation to protect life and property. We are doing everything possible to check the menace of terrorism. In this regard, we are determined to review some of the existing laws, to further strengthen the national counter-terrorism strategy. Coordinated joint action among our security agencies has now assumed greater importance.
“I wish to reassure every Nigerian that we will confront this threat against our collective peace and security, and bring the perpetrators to justice. We will confront the few misguided persons who falsely believe, that through violence, they can impose their agenda of hate and division on this nation of good people.
“We must confront all those who think they can derail us by engaging in indiscriminate violence and mass murder, perpetrated in places of worship, in markets and public places, against the media, and security personnel.”
Jonathan reminded Nigerians that they had a duty to be loyal to the country, saying such was a sacred obligation they owed the nation.
“It really will not matter whether we are civil society agents, social activists or union leaders. What matters is Nigeria,”he said.