BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN ,Kaduna
The apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has felicitated with Nigerians on the 57th independence anniversary of our country today but lamented that inspite of the years attained after independence, it is yet to realize full pottention and deliver on the expectations of its citizens.
ACF in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim Biu noted that the journey over the years- considering our diversity and complexity-has been full of challenges in the areas of national security, peaceful coexistence, political and economic development.
ACF further observed that our founding fathers laid a good foundation for a prosperous Nigeria but stressed however that the instability we witnessed in our polity, especially the military coups and the civil war, have affected and distorted our journey to a developed nation at 57.
” Although Nigeria as a nation at 57 is yet to realize its full potential and deliver on the expectations of its citizens, we cannot ignore the fact that, despite the upheavals due to shortcomings, we have been able to sustain the unity and stability of the country.
“We have also recorded and witnessed some progress in many areas that include education, infrastructural development, economy and relative political stability. Our 18 years of un-interrupted presidential system of democracy has placed Nigeria as one of the developing economies with high potential for greatness, if properly managed”.
ACF therefore appeal to Nigerians to regard the current challenges as part of the process of nation building, and to cooperate and support the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari in its war against corruption, insurgency and impunity in governance, in order to pave the way for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation. We should not allow the temporary challenges to redefine our collective destiny or set our national agenda.
“ACF therefore salutes the governments and people of Nigeria for their determination, perseverance, patience and hope in our nation, and urges most especially our leaders-both elected and appointed- at all levels to re-examine their social contract with the electorates and do the needful.
“Our leaders should refrain from fanning the embers of disunity, promotion of cleavages along ethnic and religious lines, rather, emphasis should be on the things that unite and make us great as a nation. At 57, Nigerians expect to see more of transparency, prudence, fairness and equity in governance and to feel the dividends of democracy” the statement read.