Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari late night appealed to Nigerian elite to be patriotic and partner his administration in making life more meaningful to ordinary Nigerians.
Buhari made the appeal at the breaking-of-fast dinner with the retired and serving Justices of the Supreme Court at the Aso Rock, Villa, Abuja.
Buhari frowned at the selfish attitudes of some elite whom he said were bent on strangulating the nation’s economy through sharp practices.
According to him, God has been good to Nigeria in terms of material and human resources but the elite had failed woefully in translating this to prosperity for the country.
He, therefore, enjoined the justices to assist in re-educating and convincing the elites on the need to be more patriotic in their actions so as to help enthrone a just, fair and stable society.
He said: “So in this age, at the position we are, more demand is made on us to persuade those we know, the elites to please pity this country and make more sacrifices.
“At whatever forum, please persuade our fellow elite to be more patriotic because which kind of country are we leaving for our children and our grand children.
“Everybody in the world believed Nigeria has been favoured by God Almighty in terms of material and human resources.
“But, we have failed, woefully failed so far to explore it and thank God for these gifts.
“Let us pray to God Almighty that our colleagues outside there that are having the influence with the rest of people and holding the economy sit and reflect and make sure that this country gets what it deserve from its leadership at various stages.
“I hope this will help to digest what we have just eaten.
“We have observed what happened in the last 15 years. We have enjoyed so much prosperity But eventually, the thing we looked for most, security, first in the North-east, threatened us. Secondly is the Niger Delta. But we know we got the strength to survive it and surviving it we must.”
The president reminded his guests that Nigeria was in a difficult position occasioned by the dwindling oil revenue and called on them to continue to pray for the country.
He, however, expressed optimism that the country would survive the current socio-economic challenges.
He said: “We are in a very, very difficult position now. We came at a time when suddenly we realised, unfortunately, that we have through our personal incompetence as Nigerian elite ended up as a mono-economy in spite of the potentiality of this country, which the rest of the world seemed to know more.
“We have observed what happened in the last 15 years. We have enjoyed so much prosperity.
“But, eventually, the thing we looked for most, security, first in the North-east, threatened us, secondly, in Niger Delta.
“But we know we get the strength to survive it and survive it we must.
“We are in a very, very difficult position now. We came at a time when suddenly we realised, unfortunately that we have through our personal incompetent as Nigerian elites ended up as a mono-economy in spite of the potentiality of this country which the rest of the world seemed to know more us.”