By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Former Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, called for dialogue as the best way of addressing the various challenges currently facing the country.
He ruled out the possibility of Nigeria’s disintegration, saying that with the right reforms the country can perfect good and effective governance.
Tinubu, who is the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, spoke at a democracy lecture organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress with the theme “Nigerian Democratic System and Good Governance: The Journey So Far,” in Abuja.
The elder statesman said, “Nigeria seats at a crucial junction. Do we advance by doing what is right or do we stagnate by settling for what is easy?
“Our nation’s journey is one of continuous struggles. We have struggled many times, yet never shall we fall. We are Nigerians and shall remain so.
“Of course, much work needs to be done. But it is time to recognise the points at which we fight ourselves. It is one that demands further reforms and evolution.
“We need to continue to transform and improve so that we perfect good and effective governance in Nigeria for all citizens.”
Tinubu, who was represented by Hon. James Faleke, urged Nigerian youths to work together to address the nation’s challenges.
This, he said, could be done through dialogue and positive engagement with the political class.
He added, “Our youths are the engine by which our future and protection will be powered. Our journey till date will be further defined by your efforts and actions. This journey should not and cannot be a destructive process. We must manage the necessary change in a peaceful and democratic manner and ensure the continued unity of our nation, its people, and collective potentials.
“To perfect good and effective government is not going to come solely from the Nigerian elites. It will virtually come from the youths.
“This is not a time for you to falter. It’s a time for you to stand up and help push this great nation forward. It is time for Nigeria to evolve.”
The Minister of State for Education, Dr. Emeka Nwajiuba, on his part, regretted that in spite of the progresses made by the country under the presidential system of government, some people were agitating for restructuring to the obsolete 1963 republican constitution.
He said, “Many of our citizens are investing a lot of time arguing over Nigeria’s structure. Do we restructure the country or restructure its power? Anything other than having a developmental mindset, for me, is a distraction.
“The Nigerian federation is different from other federal systems in the world in the sense that the centre created the federating units and not the federating units coming together to form the centre. So, the management of our federal structure should be unique to us alone.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, NYC Governing Board, Dr. Yakubu Shendam, also expressed the belief that the solution to the mirage of problems in the country was neither secessionist agitations nor anti-government protests.
He, however advised the government to boost its youth engagement to move the country forward.