John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Senator Uba Sani have advised Nigerian leaders to turn a new leaf and avoid pitfalls that have hindered the progress and unity of the country in the last 60 years.
In the statements marking the country’s 60th Independence anniversary, they lamented the problems that have 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 which was signed by the spokesman of the forum, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe, 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 (insurgents).”
While felicitating with President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the 60th Independence anniversary, the forum said the country has been bedeviled 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 country 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 country.
“The country has since independence been mired in short-sightedness and mind boggling corruption that have shocked its citizens and the world,” the statement said.
Yawe said further that “as Nigeria turns 60, the ACF advises its leaders and the people to turn a new leaf and avoid the pitfalls of the past that have hindered our march
to progress, unity and prosperity.”
On his part, the Senator Sani, who represents 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 to growth and sustainable development
Sani said Nigeria’s founding fathers had dreamt of a prosperous country, 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 has 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 urge our countrymen and women to keep hope alive. We must embrace peace and support our leaders for progress to be made.”
Sani also promised to initiate more bills that would help empower the people and reposition his constituency economically.