Former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Alhaji Abubakar has frowned at the claims by some notable Nigerians among whom is former President Olusegun Obasanjo who described Nigeria as a failed country recently at a public function at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory; pointing out that despite the numerous challenges bedevilling the country, Nigeria cannot be regarded as a failed nation.
General Abubakar noted that despite the myriads of challenges confronting the nation, Nigeria still commands respect in the global community saying that “Nigeria as a country has her ups and downs, stressing that, that does not make her a failed nation.
Abdulsalam who played host to some select journalists across several media houses in the country in his country home in Minna on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60 year independence anniversary today, conceded that the country has problems arising from insurgency occasioned by Boko Haram terrorist group, in conjunction with Armed Banditry issues, economic recession, and political challenges, highlighting that it did not make the country a failed nation in the true sense of the word.
The former Nigerian Military Leader and an Elder Statesman, said, “it takes two to tango, adding that when you say a nation has failed, he asked rhetorically that what was responsible for the failure?
“You points accusing fingers at the government, but who is the government, it is me and you.”
The retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant General who pointed out that it always good to remain positive about the country, declared that individual contributions were key to nation-building, saying, “what have we contributed to trying to make the so-called failure.”
He said, “have we done our citizens’rights? have we done our citizens duty? Are we obeying the law of the country and are we paying our taxes?” he queried.
He, however, conceded that Nigeria has problems, among which was there was insecurity to lives and property of the citizenry, adding that there was also the economic situation and so on and so forth.
These problems confronting the country according to Lt. Gen. Abdulsalam A. Abubakar “does that make us a failed nation, in a true sense. Rather, I will say we have problems and are we on the way to be becoming a failed nation. It depends on which side you are coming from and where you are looking at. I agree a lot of things could be done better, so if we as a people are having a feeling that we are becoming a failed nation, what are we doing that is making us a failed nation and what is it that we should do to get out of this bad perception,” he submitted.
He insisted that “despite our problems in the nation, I think we still command a lot of respect in the commit of the nation and we could do more and the only way to do more is for all of us to put out hands on deck to ensure that we do the right thing.
He said, “what I think we need to do is to sit down and think on how we would work as a nation, how there would be more equity and justice in the Land, as we move forward as a nation and how do we make sure that there is equal representation in all that we do and also how do we disabuse the minds of Nigerians in this issues of religion and ethnic differences.”
On those who are clamouring for the country to split, General Abubakar counselled them that there was strength in togetherness, stressing that “one thing we should take note of there is an advantage in our unity.
“Nigeria is being seen today as the biggest black nation in the world and I believe this way, we can make an impact in world politics in ensuring that we represent the black nations in the world and we should have a bigger voice in maintaining this leadership. That can only be achieved when we are together as a nation.
Accordingly, he said, “when we try to split this country, we just become a nonentity, our voices will not be heard. But for Nigeria to remain as one, we must all ensure that there are equity and justice and to make sure that there is equal representation as we move ahead”.
To attend greatness as a nation, according to him, “we must be a disciplined society. It is very unfortunate that there is still indiscipline in this country”
He noted that people did not find it necessary to obey rules and regulations, adding that they also did not obey orders, while they are also in the habits of flouting anything you can think of.
He said, “so, first of all, you must impose self-discipline, because there is nothing the government can do besides making rules and regulations and it is not the duty of the government or it’s not nice for the government to start chasing us up and down to make sure we do the right thing.”