By Dapo Akinrefon, Vera Samuel-Anyagafu and Prisca Sam-Duru
CONVENER of the Save Nigeria Project, Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, said yesterday ,that the restructuring of the country requires collective efforts of Nigerians. He also said, that for Nigeria to be redeemed, Nigerians must be prepared to make sacrifices.
Nwabueze said this at the public presentation of a book entitled,“Time to reclaim Nigeria”, held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Lagos.
He said: “Nigeria cannot be saved, Nigeria cannot be redeemed except by ourselves. We all must agree to save our country. We must all join hands to save this country. We, as Nigerians, do not care so long as we survive as individuals; it does not matter what happens to the country.
We have talked about revolution, we talked about action; we are the people to do this. When 50 people are killed, another 50 should be prepared to go forward, but do we have such people in Nigeria? This country cannot be saved, this country cannot be redeemed until we can find such people, and until we as Nigerians are determined to make sacrifices.
We need people who are determined to lay down their lives to save Nigeria. Whatsoever will be, will be, Nigeria must be reclaimed; Nigeria must be saved. We, fellow Nigerians, are the only people who can save ourselves.”
He, however, pointed out that the media and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, are the two major agents needed to bring about the change the nation seeks.
Said he: “We want to appeal to the press not to let us down. The press has a unique role to in the project of saving Nigeria. I hope gentlemen of the press, here present, will not let us down. We need you (press) to be faithful.”
Berating the NLC for compromising during the subsidy protest, he said the protest would have afforded Nigerians the opportunity to liberate the country.
Speaking further, he said “corruption has eaten so deep into the fabric of our society and we all must agree that we must reclaim our country from rotteness and decadence.”
Reitertating the defects in the 1999 constitution, he said there was need for a total overhaul of the constitution if Nigeria must move forward.
Nigerians must stand up – Falana
On his part, rights crusader, Mr Femi Falana, enjoined Nigerians to stand up and restructure the nation, noting that the opportunity to put things in order resides in the citizens.
According to him, “nobody is going to save us but ourselves. The EFCC cannot save Nigeria. We must reclaim this country.”
Leadership failure, corruption bane of Nigeria –Ayo Obe
Reviewer of the book, Ms Ayo Obe who, identified leadership failure and corruption as some of the major challenges facing the nation, said: “If we are not to fall into the madness we have found ourselves, we need to try something else other than trying to change our leaders. It is time to act and time to reclaim Nigeria is for the people of Nigeria.”
Earlier in her remarks, President of Women and Law Development Centre, Dr Keziah Awosika, stressed the need for Nigerians to resist being docile adding that the people must insist on the practice of true federalism.