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49 Independence Anniversary : Signs in polity ominous – Sen Mamora (AC, Lagos East)

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THOSE raising the fear of Nigeria disintegration should not be dismissed as pessimists or dooms day prophets. The signs in the polity are ominous. Politically or economically it seems very clear that we are heading towards disintegration. And what has compounded the fear is the insensitivity of the leadership in our polity. The leadership at the various levels of government is not sensitive enough. There is no enough demonstration of purpose and sincerity of purpose.

You remember that not long ago, the US gave a warning that if care is not taken; we are going to say bye-bye to a country called Nigeria. That is not my wish that such things should happen. Nigeria is a great country with abundant natural resources. But the problem is in the management of the resources. There has been mismanagement of the resources at high levels. Unless we consciously address the issues, the prediction may come to pass.

As leaders, we must make efforts. Take for example the constitutional review. I heard the deputy senate president did say that there appears to be fifth columnists who do not want the constitution amended. These are people who are benefiting from the status quo and they want it to continue. But we need to review the constitution with a view to strengthen democracy, with a view to establish true federalism.

We cannot arrive at a truly federal state without some section of the current constitution being reviewed. Not long ago, I heard on radio former president, Ibrahim Babangida calling for true federalism. Did it just occur to him now? Why did he not do it when he had the power? You see this is the part of insincerity that I am talking about.

So the lesson for our leaders is not to see those who genuinely raise the issue as enemies of the society. Let them look at the message and not the messenger. The leaders at various levels should not see those who speak in constructive manners as those opposing their positions. Let them take them on board. That is the only way for us to move forward. Leaders should know that one of the growing industries in Nigeria right now is sycophancy.

Where are those who were urging Obasanjo to go for a third term? They have all left him. So my advice is for
President Yar’Adua to listen to voices of reason and not to be carried away by people who surround him telling him that he is the best president. There are issues to be addressed in the polity not to give a life to the predictions.

God forbid that we should disintegrate, but we should take on board genuine agitations, we should take on board constructive reasons on our politics and look at it with all the seriousness it deserves to unwind the predictions.

Merit has been thrown over board. Everything is being done on the basis of man know man; there is no room for merit anymore. We cannot build an enduring society with these kinds of virtues. We must listen to ourselves and start addressing the various problems facing the nation, which when allowed to continue may hold dangerous consequences for us as a nation.

We could build nation of our dream overnight —Hon. Godfrey Gaya (PDP/Kaduna)
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We have heard this statement that Nigeria may break up before. If I remember very well, there was this report from the United States government that Nigeria will disintegrate in the next 15 years. Most of us frowned at it, feeling that it was an unwanted statement. Most us felt it was without basis. Nigeria has been an independent country for the past 49 years. And even before then, there has been a mutual relationship between the North, South, East and West.

And as we grow by the year, we will continue to be indivisible, and stronger. Everybody knows that we can attain true greatness through staying together. By our population, land mass and natural resources, unity would only forge our strength. And it is our differences that enhance our unity. So I believe that despite the hypothesis of the Western world, I know that the spirit of the true Nigerian, is a resilience one; it is the one that will never cave in, even in all manners of provocation or frustration. So I consider what the West thinks of us as mere propaganda.

49 years in the history of a nation is truly not long. There are some nation states that are about 300 years or more and they still have room for improvement, not to talk of Nigeria that is barely 49 years old. Our fore fathers have already put our four major blocks into one.

I see us attaining that dream of our fore-fathers. It may be slow. We may have wanted this  earlier than now . But the task of nation building cannot be done overnight. That is why they say that, “Rome was not build in a day”.

So we cannot build a nation of our dream overnight. Now we witnessing 10 years of uninterrupted democracy. And I see us doing so for ever. And if we able to sustain democracy and we keep reaping from its benefit, in no time we will attain the dream of our fore fathers.

Nigerians don’t dream  — Hon. Elizabeth Ogbaga (PDP/Ebonyi)

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We are  supposed to     be a country of unity in diversity. But that has not been so. We think of ourselves more as from the tribe we come from; more as from the local government and state that we come from. And we don’t look at ourselves in the way that the late Martin Luther King Jnr dreamt for his children in an American of his dream, when he said, “I dream that my children will grow up in an America where they will be judged by the conduct of the character and not the colour of their skin”

We don’t think of making heroes and heroines in the name of our country, but how to make money. When we have divide and rule; when we are so selfish, then we cannot say that we are aimed at having a united, stable country that can withstand shock.

It is unfortunate that we still think, “me, me, me alone” and not “Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria”

Our founding fathers had fine dreams for us that we care about ourselves today. The late Dr. Azikiwe, Chief Awolowo all had nationalistic visions, not sectional interest.

Look at the quality of our educational institutions today compared to the past twenty years. Everything is in decay.  In this century when the world is going digital, how many of our kids in the rural areas have seen a computer? We going back to pre-independent days when it comes to education.

Nigeria is heading for trouble for so many reasons but it is not beyond redemption

—Senator Ahmed Makarfi (PDP, Kaduna North)


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