Prof. Ben Nwabueze
* Says such comments are unpatriotic and irresponsible
By Chuks Okocha
The Presidency has described the comment by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, that Nigeria was sliding into a failed state as irresponsible and unpatriotic by any Nigerian, explaining that available facts and figures do not suggest anything near a failed state for the country.
Also, the Special Adviser on Governors and Governance to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osaro Onaiwu, has described as unpatriotic the recent statements credited to some eminent Nigerians that Nigeria is a failed state.
Reacting to Nwabueze’s statement Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said did indices in the country did not in any way suggest that Nigeria is a failed state or has anything that is near it.
According to Okupe, “A failed state is where there is erosion of legitimate authority, where there is instability and the country cannot afford to provide public services like the provision of light, good roads, water supply and security services.
“In Nigeria, there is a serving National and States’ Assemblies, providing quality legislative services and issuing out good and quality legitimate legislature for the good governance of the country and the states.
“There are guarantee laws and services in Nigeria, even in states of Borno and Yobe where there are security challenges like the Boko Haram. Even today, Nigeria is providing security services to Mali. All these have not suggested any iota of failed state. They are having negative dreams for the country and it will not happen.”
Okupe said: “There is none of the indices of a failed applicable to Nigeria. There is no breakdown of law and order in Nigeria.”
Also, Onaiwu lamented that while nationals of other countries find ways to prop up their countries, Nigerians are in the habit of running down theirs.
He said this was more disturbing, knowing that some of these statements were coming from elders who contributed to the decimation of Nigeria during their service to various undemocratic regimes in the past.
“Now that our democracy is displaying stability even in its infancy, these statesmen should be thankful to this government for tackling some of the fundamental problems that were thrown at us by regimes that were not accountable to anybody. Problems that we all know cannot be solved overnight,” he added.
The PDP chairman’s special adviser also stated that one of the ways to determine whether Nigeria is a failing state or not is to look at the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which he said is already over $9 billion, the largest in Africa.
“I doubt if all these foreigners pumping money into our country think Nigeria is a failing state,” Onaiwu said.
He observed that instead, what the foreigners see is a fledgling democracy doing her best to bring prosperity to her people.
“They see better communication; they see better transportation; they see a pool of educated youths; they see improvement in power and security, amongst others,” he stated.
He called on those who see Nigeria as a failed state to visit states like Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Jigawa, Edo, Kano and Gombe that are working hard to bring development to their people and see if the people of these states will agree with their opinion.