Former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has said despite the challenges bedeviling the country, citizens can still achieve the Nigeria of their dreams.
He also assured Nigerians and friends of Nigeria that a new Nigeria is possible.
Abdulsalami gave the assurance during the public presentation of a book, ‘The Making of Modern Nigeria: Pre-Colonial Era to Date.’
The former Nigerian leader said in a few days, the country will be celebrating its 63rd independence anniversary, noting that it has been 63 years of continuous efforts at making the country better and for Nigerians as a nation to achieve the country’s full potential.
He said Nigerians have seen the good, the bad, and hope for the best in the future, adding that Nigeria is, no doubt, going through some challenges.
Abdulsalami however said no matter what Nigerians think or say, the prevailing atmosphere of faltering steps, great anxiety, and recriminations is not peculiar to Nigeria, but a global phenomenon.
As Nigeria approaches its 63rd independence anniversary, Abubakar acknowledged the nation’s ongoing efforts to realise its full potential.
He pointed out that these 63 years had been marked by a continuous quest for progress, with the Nigerian people enduring both highs and lows while striving for a brighter future.
Abdulsalami recognised the current difficulties facing Nigeria, describing them as a part of a broader global trend characterised by uncertainty, anxiety and blame.
He however emphasised that these challenges are not unique to Nigeria alone but are experienced worldwide.
With an unwavering spirit of hope, Abubakar assured Nigerians and friends of Nigeria that a new and improved Nigeria is within reach.
He stated: “The good news is that we have all it takes to surmount our challenges and press forward for a better Nigeria. To make this happen, all hands must be on deck to change our trajectory and make it possible for Nigeria to have its pride of place in the comity of nations.”
The former Nigerian leader further said a necessary first step for the much-desired progress was to examine how the past was charted.
His words: “This is where the book we are unveiling today, ‘The Making of Modern Nigeria – From Pre Colonial Era Till Date’, becomes auspicious. When we know about Nigeria, we will have invaluable insights into understanding the present-day challenges and the way out of the quagmire. Doing so uncannily reminds us of the exhortation of the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius: ‘Study the past if you must define the present.
“Knowing Nigeria’s rich past and its present will serve as a springboard for us to work for the realization of a Nigeria of our collective aspirations and dreams in the not distant future. I believe that the Nigeria of our dream is possible when we contribute our quota with every sense of patriotism and nationalism.
“It is commendable that this book is dedicated to ‘‘Nigeria’s founding fathers and those who believe that some good will still come out of the country.” Our generation has played its part for the making of a modern Nigeria.
“The future belongs to the rising generation. It is therefore for today and future generations to play their roles in the making of a supersonic Nigeria.”
Abubakar also said every effort at chronicling Nigeria’s past was in itself a tour de force of what was, what is, and what can be.
He noted that Nigeria was a notable beacon of hope for the black race in the pre-independence era, saying its achievement of independence on October 1, 1960, was both inspirational and reassuring for a host of African countries and indeed the larger global community.
Abubakar added that post-independence Nigeria has continued to struggle for enduring success in an increasingly complex and competitive world.
He said, “It behooves each and every one of us as Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to join hands in making Nigeria better and greater.
“This we can do by ensuring, peace reigns in our Country, being each other’s keeper. We should also support our Security Agencies in whatever way we can.
“The Sun Publishing Company, by this book, that we are here to unveil, has played its own part creditably. It is left for us here and those not here to not only acquire the book but also read it, in order to understand Nigeria and Nigerians. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this book to you.”
In his keynote address, Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, at the public presentation, said the new book would be a valuable addition to the subject of our checkered history as a young and developing nation.
Without a doubt, he said the book will help to keep the subject of our nationhood on the front burner.
Uzodima who was represented by his deputy said building the Nigerian nation of our dreams would entail creating one strong and cohesive union out of the various ethno-linguistic and religious groups that make up the country.
Earlier, the managing director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Onuoha Ukeh, said Nigerian children deserve to learn about the history of the country in school.
Ukeh stated that knowledge of the country’s history will enable students as leaders of tomorrow for the future.
The Sun MD, while expressing delight that history has been re-introduced in schools, stated that there is a need for history to be made a compulsory course in higher institutions.