(Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria) – Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has warned that Nigeria is at a crossroads but that the road to continued mediocrity is not an option if the country must attain the desired greatness.
The former Vice President made the assertion at the showcase session of Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference in Calabar.
Atiku noted that the path we are currently threading, which is marked by empty promises, avarice, greed and corruption cannot sustain nation building and development.
He opined that “nations are built one brick at a time, one person at a time, people helping people” adding “when people come together to help, rather than hurt each other, the people become the force from which a future is built, and a nation grows.”
Atiku Abubakar emphasised that the path to Nigeria’s greatness “demands honest, experienced and incorruptible leadership.”
Also, he said the envisaged greatness demands a sustained focus on economic development, critical improvements of infrastructure and uncompromised security system nationwide.
And as the nation charts its next 100-year course, the former Vice President said, the desired greatness in the main, demands putting the dignity, hopes and dreams of Nigerians especially our youth first and foremost.
The Turaki Adamawa, however, assured that if we put our house in order and decoy from this road to nowhere, the next 100 years may yet be the century of Nigeria’s greatness.
To this end, the former Vice President advocated for the establishment of an enduring democratic platform with a sustainable legitimacy, and for such platform to possess credible internal capacity to produce visionary leaders who will be committed to the public purpose and whose leadership will be informed by the common good and sustained by the popular will of the citizens.
He suggested the reorientation of the psyche and minds of Nigerians to trust their leaders and love their country, the restoration of community spirit in which everyone is their brother’s keeper and enthronement of a new regime where the allegiance of citizens should be first to the motherland.
He called for the retooling of the structure and quality of government institutions and the resuscitation of the productive capacities of the state to guarantee social and economic welfare of every citizen. According to him, the guarantee should uphold freedom, ensure dignity, and promote fairness and equity of the citizens in the way government functions.
While noting that extreme poverty and environmental damage now constitute security issues because they continue to take away human dignity, self esteem and a general sense of hope, Atiku called for the provision of adequate security for all Nigerians.
According to him, “Food scarcity, high youth unemployment, resentment, disillusionment and hopelessness are sentiments and emotions on which insecurity thrives.”
And to overcome these challenges, he proposed comprehensive security, where every citizen must not only be conscious of the collective national interest, but must be willing and happy to defend it on behalf of all.
In tandem with pre-existing differences in social values, aspirations and preferences, he suggested the adoption of a system of true federalism that guarantees the autonomy of states to develop at their own paces.
To guarantee equity and justice among citizens, the former Vice President proposed progressive reformations and adjudication of the nation’s laws and statutes.
He proposed for a social policy that will give opportunities to the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the society to live useful and satisfactory lives.