Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has lamented on the worsening situation of things in the country, describing it as a State at crossroads, where things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social, and political problems.
Atiku who insisted on the need to restructure the country, in order to position it on the right track, added that, he firmly believes in the viability of the Nigerian project, and completely knows that the story can be eventually changed for good.
Atiku stated this when he spoke at the public presentation of a newspaper, the Daily Stream, in Abuja, as a Guest Speaker, at the lecture titled: “The challenge of unity, diversity and national development: Nigeria at a crossroads.”
According to the former Vice President, restructuring Nigeria would help to place “our country on a path to phenomenal and unhindered development. To persist in what we are doing now, is to do injustice to ourselves and jeopardise our future. We should endeavour to effect the needed changes, by talking among ourselves and across our various divides – engaging in meaningful dialogue.”
He went further to argue: “Unity, diversity, and national development, are among Nigeria’s greatest challenges. Unity has been a scarce commodity among our country’s diverse peoples and communities, as a consequence of the way and manner the country was put together by British colonial authorities, and our collective failure as a people to create a true and viable nation out of the union.
“This has become a major source of disquiet, anxiety, and frustration, and a veritable obstacle to national development.”
He noted that disagreements and controversies over the best political structure to be adopted, size, and responsibility of government, the nature of relationship between and among component units, the type and system of government, as well as how resources available in and accruing to the country should be allocated, have continued unabated.
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He noted that controversies over the best structure the country should adopt have, “sometimes threatened the very existence of the country. A huge pall of pessimism hangs over a section of the citizenry, and the ranks of those who harbour real doubt about the future of the country, swell by the day.”
He added: “The country is truly at crossroads, and things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social, political, and problems which we have had to contend with, and which add to the abysmally low estimation of our country, even by its own citizens.”
Atiku however, called on Nigerians not to lose hope, because he believes the country will eventually change for good.
“I am not here just to lament over the sad and unenviable state of affairs in Nigeria. I firmly believe in the viability of the Nigerian project, I remain unshaken and completely persuaded that we can eventually change the story of Nigeria for good, by collectively making Nigeria a productive, prosperous, peaceful, and united nation, whose people are happy and contented, and one that is able to really lead Africa and assume a pride of place in the comity of nations,” he said.