The Northern Elders Forum, on Thursday, says Nigeria is in a fragile state because of failed leaders.
The northern elders said the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has failed in all aspects of governance. It, therefore, called on the elite to rise to the occasion of making Nigeria great again by speaking with one voice towards national cohesion.
NEF Spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stated this while speaking at the ‘2nd Never Again Conference: 51 Years After Nigerian-Biafran Civil War’ organised by an Igbo think-tank, Nzuko Umunna.
Baba-Ahmed’s comments come weeks after described Nigeria as a country going backwards economically and plagued with terrorism, illiteracy, poverty, banditry, and kidnapping and
The NEF spokesman on Thursday said Nigerians are more bitter as a people 51 years after the civil war because the past was not left in the past.
He said, “We finished this war in 1970 and within four years, virtually all the Igbos who had left the north who were still alive came back to the North, they continued with their lives. Northerners moved to the East and Nigeria moved on.
“Here we are 51 years after, abusing each other, disputing history. It is a good thing that we are saying ‘Never Again’, but we need to recognise, ‘Never What Again’? The post-civil war elite has substantially failed this country, even more than those who plunged this country into the disaster that ended in 1970. The elite of Nigeria still speaks in a manner that suggests that we are still fighting a war. This means this country has not made any progress at all.
“We need to be very careful. We need history but our present and future should not become captives of the past. If we do that, we will never fix the problem, we will always fight over what happened in the past.”
Baba-Ahmed lampooned the Buhari regime for the massive failures in all aspect of governance including security, economy and infrastructure.
He said, “As we speak, this nation has never been worse than this —not even during the civil war. The civil war isn’t the worst disaster; the day is the worst disaster we are living in. We are a very poor government and leadership that do not care about Nigerians. You have massive insecurity, no fresh ideas and complete vacuum in leadership. It is only going to get worst unless something dramatic happens.
“When we say ‘Never Again’, we must understand something that it can happen again. Let’s not deceive ourselves. When IPOB says we are leaving Nigeria and other parts of the country no keen on staying in the country also say they are leaving, then, that is a big issue.
“The Nigerian state is very fragile, not just because there is no consensus but because the elite who should work together are not working together. We need to adopt a sense of urgency and change the quality of leadership that we produce. We are on our knees now because we made wrong choices in the type of leadership that we elected and politicians who have no business being in power are in power. We need to review the process with which leaders emerge.”
The NEF spokesman also urged the elite to bridge the generational gap between itself and the young people, especially youths who staged the EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance.