The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has said that Nigerians are the country’s greatest problem.
The presidential spokesman who blasted those he claimed do nothing but find faults in the country, warned Nigerians against ” disintegration, destabilization and outright war”.
Adesina also stated that the internecine clashes which came off the civil war, are still very evident in some parts of the country.
“It’s often intriguing to hear eminent and well appointed Nigerians talk about disintegration, destabilization and outright war, as if it’s a picnic. War? Not a tea party, and not something you should wish even upon your enemy.
Nigeria fought a war before, in which about two million people died. There was sorrow, tears and blood, till good sense prevailed, and we said there was no victor, no vanquished. The scars of that internecine conflict are still very evident in some parts of the land.
“Why then do some newspaper columnists, public commentators, ethnic warlords, even academics, talk of war as something they long for, an affliction they want to inflict their country with? War? Is it a picnic or tea party?
“I have seen enough to make me conclude that the greatest problem of Nigeria are Nigerians themselves. They seem to hate their country. There was that atheist who said on his death bed. “I hate everybody. I hate God. I even hate myself.” That seems to be the experience of a good number of Nigerians.
“What am I saying? Is Nigeria in a perfect state, nirvana, a Utopia? By no means. We all see things that exasperate us about our country. So, is cutting off the head the cure for headache? Is death wish for the country through the constant craving for war the way out, couched as warnings by some interest groups? For really, that is what they would wish to see, if only to have the morbid satisfaction of saying: we warned, they didn’t listen.
“We have our grouses with Nigeria. The President often talks of missed opportunities, and yes, this country has missed many, over the decades. But he adds that those of them who have fought to keep this country together would never open their eyes and see Nigeria dismembered. Loving the unloveable. That is what Nigerians need, if we would eventually get the country we desire. William Cowper, English writer, who lived between 1731 and 1800, said: “England, with all thy faults, I love thee still-my country.”
“That is one thing we find lacking. We have not got to the point that we can say, Nigeria, with all thy faults, I love thee still-my country.
“The Good Book says love covers a multitude of sins. And it does. But does it happen in respect of our country? Don’t Nigerians carry around giant-sized grudges against themselves, against their leaders, against the next ethnic group, and against their own very land… They seem to hate their country. There was that atheist who said on his death bed. “I hate everybody. I hate God. I even hate myself.
“The need of the hour is love for Nigeria, warts and all. Yes, there are many reasons not to love this land. But it’s the only one we have. We would be second class citizens anywhere else. Nigeria we hail thee. Our own dear native land.
The fault lines are many: ethnicity, suspicion of domination, religious differences, language, centrifugal forces. But, Nigeria, with all thy faults, I love thee still-my country.
“Do you know that some Nigerians actually gloat when things go wrong in the country? They rejoice at wanton killings, massive insecurity, prostrate economy, decrepit inter-ethnic relationships, and the like. They want things to fall apart in the ‘zoo.’ But Nigeria will survive. The singer, Veno Marioghae, said it long ago. Nigeria is like the testicles of a ram. It may sway from side to side as the ram runs, but it will never fall off.
“It’s time we began to have a Nigerian agenda, instead of sectional agenda. It’s time we began to see the big picture, and wish our country well. Enough of wars and rumours of war. Can we cavil less about our country? Can we emphasize less on things not done, and focus more on things being achieved? And I tell you, the Buhari government has stories to tell. Of rice pyramids, roads, rail, bridges, airports, massive infrastructure everywhere.
“Just on Thursday, the 13 Floor, Twin Tower ultra-modern Headquarters Building of the Niger Delta Development Commission was commissioned, about 26 years after it was conceived. And many of such projects abound. Let’s wail less, and appreciate more. Nigeria, with all thy faults, I love thee still-my country.”