Civil Rights Activist and former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has taken stock of the nation’s status in the last 59 years, saying the country has been divided along ethnic and religious lines.
In a statement he made available to Tribunepoint Weekly in Abuja on Friday, he said:
”Nigeria’s 59 years record on attempt at poverty eradication and respect for human rights and the rule of law is appalling, woeful and tragic.
”We have become a belligerent, combative and intolerant nation of religious extremists, sectional champions and tribal warriors and warlords.
”Nigerian leaders have abandoned nationalism and behave like tribal conquerors imposing their will and wishes on the people in their occupied territory.
”The white horses in our coat of arms has been dismounted and redeployed to pull the luxurious chariots of a selected power elite.
” While we are building new bridges over River Niger to link the north and the south, the bridges in the souls and hearts of Nigerians that linked them up to each other has since broken into pieces.
”Nigerian Political leaders purport nationalism when speaking in English but promote ethnic chauvinism when speaking in their native languages. That is corrosive to the spirit of nationalism.
”Over the years, our nationalist and patriotic spirit has been dampened by the failure of successive Governments in the country and; the only moment Nigerians are patriotic about their country is that moment when the super eagles are on the winning path.
”Nepotism erodes patriotism and nationalism.
”Our dream of building a united and prosperous nation will remain a mirage as long as we continue to run and maintain a system that politically and economically disenfranchised and marginalized some sections of the country or people to the perpetual advantage of others.
”We should reconfigure, reset and restructure Nigeria politically and economically in order to make it greater.
”The dream of our founding fathers has been destroyed by our founding fathers. ”