…Urges Nigerians to shun ethnicity, religious bigotry
By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The apex socio-cultural organization of the South South geo-political zone, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has expressed its disappointment that at 60 years old, Nigeria is still crawling despite its human and natural resources.
National Chairman of PANDEF, and former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd, made the assertion while reacting to how Nigeria has fared at 60years of independence.
His words, “To be very honest it has been a disappointment that at 60years Nigeria is still crawling. Somebody that is 60years old should not be crawling. There is no way a 60year old person can be graded with toddler. We are not where we should be at this age.
“And we should take this seriously because whatever Nigeria does is a reflection on what the black man is. We are the largest population of blacks in the world and so if we bring ourselves down like toddler, that is the way the world will look at every black person.
“There are many nations that are black but because of our population they will be looking up to us. In the whole black race Nigeria is the biggest concentration, so if Nigeria fails, that is the black race that has failed. We should not be satisfied with being champions of Africa though now there are many African countries that are doing better than we are doing”
The PANDEF chairman pointed out how other African countries such as Ghana, and South Africa are disrespecting and messing Nigeria up because of its weak foreign policy, which according to him reflects that the country itself is weak.
He stressed that to move Nigeria forward that Nigerians especially the leaders must shun ethnicity and religious intolerance, and learn to live together peacefully as brothers and sisters.
“There are so many things that we should not be happy about. It is not only infrastructure that you look at. We should look at ‘are we getting the respect we ought to get in the world? Of course we are not.
“Considering things on religious lines, ethnic lines, will not move this country forward. I hope that the same God that gave us this country will help us to become a nation, and also help to open our eyes and see things beyond ethnic and religious lines.
“And we have the human resources, we have the natural resources that God has endowed us with, which requires good leadership to galvanize it. Perhaps that is where we have failed the most.
“When you look at our level of development, we cannot even enjoy stable electricity supply
So when we look at all these parameters we might feel satisfied but we have not done well enough for the responsibilities put on us, so there is nothing actually to celebrate”, Nkanga said.