Since the civil war, we haven’t had it as bad as it is now -Ononuju
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The Director, Universal Basic Education, UBEC, Alhaji Usman Yahaya yesterday in Abuja said that the elites in the country abandoned the just concluded general elections from the presidency to the local government level to the illiterate and semi-illiterates.
Alhaji Yahaya who was one of the discussants in a Citizens Summit Townhall, organized by the National Association of Seadog, NAS, with the theme, “Rebuilding the Nation”, stated that “If the learned don’t participate in the electoral process, idiots and touts will take over the process.”
According to him, “It was sad that from the presidency to the local government, the majority of those that participated were illiterates and semi-illiterates.”
He stated that the most important aspect of nation building was education both at the primary and post-primary levels, adding that the Almajiris in the northern part of the country was the problem the nation would be having in future.
“The elites should participate in the system and should not sit down to dream dreams,” he said.
Also making a contribution, the Director General of Heritage Centre, Dr. Katch Ononuju said that he still maintained his initial position that Nigeria was not a nation yet, stressing that it was incumbent on patriotic citizens to rise up and build a nation that everyone would be proud of.
He said, “Since the civil war, we have not had it as bad as we have today. The government allows the herdsmen to use a gun to safeguard castles, they are now using the guns to kidnap Nigerians.
“This is the time to mobilize Nigerians for nation-building. The country needs the Seadogs with their educated members to champion nation building. For you to build a nation, you must be courageous.”
Most of the participants lamented that many of the nation’s leaders still hold the primordial sentiment, stressing that there was the need to revisit the country’s constitution.
The participants noted that most countries in the world that started with conflicts like the civil war in the country have come out of the conflicts stronger, regretting that Nigeria’s case had remained different and pathetic.
The President of NAS, Sahara’ Deck, Abuja, Stanley Nwodo in an interview said, “We have been championing the course of the national building since the formation of the association, adding, “even though I am not an advocate of war but one day there will be an unplanned revolution.”
Also speaking, Mr. Frank Okafor in charge of the northern zone said, “We already have the building blocks, what is currently missing is the nation builders. We really need to galvanize like minds to come together to become nation builders because without a proper nation building, having this common sense of oneness making progress will become very difficult.”
He said that a country that promotes ethnicity and tribalism cannot be a nation, adding that the Pyrates Confraternity is a for a nation that doesn’t promote ethnicity
He disclosed that NAS has submitted a National Integration Bill to the Constitutional Conference. Our members in the National Assembly in this coming dispensation will bring up that bill again to the national assembly to be passed into law.
“What we are trying to move is that when you fill forms to go into school or to take a position, your state of origin should not be important, it is where you live and pay your taxes.”
A lecture with the theme, “Rebuilding the Nation,” was presented by Dike Chukwumerije.