Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has called on Nigerians to strive to overcome their differences and understand one another in order to make Nigeria great.
The minister spoke in Abuja on Saturday, during the public presentation of a book titled, “Ripples Of Grace,” written by Nigeria’s obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr (chief) Bamigboye Ezekiel Ogunbiyi, the Asiwaju of Illofa to mark his 75th birthday anniversary.
He said despite the nation’s differences, what unites us is stronger than our differences.
“One thing that has come out clearly in all the speeches here is that Nigeria is a great country. That, what divides us is not as much as those things that unite us and we should try to overcome our differences and make this country better again.
“The foundation for national unity has been built long ago and all we need to do is to sustain it. Nigeria is a great country, what divides us is not as much as those things that unite us and that we should strive to overcome those few differences and understand one another and make this country great,” the Minister said.
The Minister, who cited how Muslims and Christians used to sit side by side in the olden days, said the problem of Nigeria has nothing to do with religion.
“We know that there are some people for very selfish reasons would want to exaggerate our differences but there is a brighter future for this country,” he added.
Meanwhile, the author of the book, Ogunbiyi said despite the challenges facing the country, Nigeria would remain indivisible nation where our cultural, ethnic and religious diversities, will be recognised, respected, harnessed and maximised towards our collective reserve to remain a powerful nation in all areas of human endeavours.
He called for a maximum of two terms in office for each legislator, while stressing the need to revisit the issue of complete autonomy for the local government councils.
“Our form of democracy seems to fall short of the models we’re copying
from, and is largely devoid of meritocracy. For instance, political positions are zoned to a particular sub-region irrespective of the suitability orotherwise of the choice of those aspirants.
“In my honest opinion, there must be institutionalised centres for
preparation for leadership in every state akin to the National Institute of
Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), plus the inculcation of national
consciousness and identity in our children, beginning from the first phase of primary school education.
“A deliberate succession plan must be
formulated, with special focus on the youth. The current presidential
system of governance is very expensive to maintain, and we need to
review this,” he stated.