By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Senator Uba Sani have advised Nigerian leaders and the elite to turn a new leaf and avoid pitfalls that have hindered the progress and unity of the country in the last 60 years.
In statements marking the country’s 60th independence anniversary, they lamented the problems that has stunted the progress of the country.
The ACF, in its statement, said: “Nigerian leaders have consistently remained mediocre, refusing to build even on the modest achievements of the first republic leaders.”
The statement signed by Mr. Emmanuel Yawe, spokesman of the forum, noted that: “Given our resources, both material and human, Nigeria should have achieved greater heights at 60.”
The ACF lamented that the “Nigerian military which fought heroically to keep the country one, has become a shadow of itself, overwhelmed by a rag tag army”.
While felicitating with President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the 60th Independence Anniversary, the forum said the country has been bedevilled by poor and visionless leadership.
“The ACF notes that given our resources, both material and human, Nigeria should have achieved greater heights.
“We are a nation blessed with unlimited resources from God.
“Our greatest undoing is poor, visionless leadership which has failed to take advantage of these God given gifts to build a virile, progressive nation.
“The country has since independence been mired in short sighted, mind boggling corruption that has shocked her citizens and the world,” the statement said.
According to Yawe, “Nigerian leaders have consistently remained mediocre, refusing to build even on the modest achievements of the first republic leaders.
“The Nigerian military which fought heroically to keep the country one has become a shadow of itself, overwhelmed by a rag tag army.
“As Nigeria turns 60, the ACF advises her leaders and elite to turn a new leaf and avoid the pitfalls of the past that have hindered our march to progress, unity and prosperity.
“Our leaders must come up with imaginative policies that will make the black race proud of Nigeria as the biggest black nation on earth.
“We must strive to shake off the image of marvelous scammers that is conjured up in the minds of many whenever it is announced that a Nigerian is around all over the world.”
On his part, Senator Uba Sani, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone, said Nigeria’s journey since independence has been one of successes, missed opportunities, challenges and reverses.
He however, said Nigerians, through their innovations and resilience, have weathered many storms and have remained on the path of growth and sustainable development.
He said Nigeria’s founding fathers had dreamt of a prosperous nation and had looked up to the new generation to consolidate on their achievements.
“They gave us the compass to navigate through the difficult terrain that is Nigeria. We failed to hold tenaciously to the values they bequeathed to us,” he said.
According to him, “Ethno-religious tolerance have deserted many of our communities. Love for one another is in short supply.
“Governance as service is hardly embraced. We hardly place the people at the centre of development.
“Forgiveness has become a luxury. The question on many people’s lips is: how did we come to this sorry pass?
“As we celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, I, you, our countrymen and women to keep hope alive.”
He said the current challenges and difficulties will give way to a better Nigeria.
“We must embrace peace and support our leaders for progress to be made,” he said.
Sani promised to initiate more bills that would help empower the people and reposition his constituency economically.