Andee Iheme: Nigeria lacks a leader to drive quest for nation building

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Former Director of Public Relations, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Andee Iheme, has lamented the dearth of visionary and purposeful leadership in Nigeria, which he described as the bane of the socio-economic and political development of the country.

He stated that Nigeria has not made much progress “because there has been no leader to drive the quest towards nation-building.”

Iheme, who is also a Public Relations expert, said although there has made several efforts at nation-building and unity of the people through the introduction of Unity Schools, National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), the National Sports Festival among others, “these have not yielded the needed results.”

Iheme stated this while speaking as a guest speaker at a Special Prayer to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary, which was organised by the Chapel of Victory, ATBU, Bauchi yesterday.

According to him, “Nigeria has been making very serious efforts at nation-building; if you look at history, when we started, we started with the introduction of unity schools in Sokoto and later in Ogbosi and later in Warri, Delta State. They all started as regional schools in 1966. Later, by 1973, they were escalated and many states had the school.

“We had the NYSC established in 1973, the idea was to bridge the gaps that exist in Nigeria in the area of tribe, religion, language, food and many other areas we have diversities. The corps was a good attempt.

“Then we went to the National Sports Festival, also aimed at bridging the gaps. We have a policy on federal character.

“But all these things have not succeeded because Nigeria has not had a national champion to drive our quest for building this country. We have not had a single person, who will rally us around and cause us to subsume all our idiosyncrasies and all that divides us to come up as a nation and exist on one page-Nigeria has never had that.

“And because we have lacked a national champion, local champions are rising in the North, West, and East. If we continue the way we are going, more local champions will come and all will be aimed at tearing Nigeria apart.”

He wondered that: “Are we crying out to God enough? Are our voices not reaching God as a cacophony of voices-people crying out for different things, divergent opinions and requests? We just lack unity.”

Also speaking, the Chaplain, Patrick Ozuolor, said Nigeria has gotten to a point where despondency has taken over the citizens.

“God is God, and He knew there would be a time in Nigeria that we will get into a point of despondency, that’s where we are now; despondency has taken over us.

“God said he will answer speedily those who call upon Him. We believe that prayers can solve the quagmire we are in right now, and that is why once in a year, we gather Christians to come and let’s pray together, and we believe that God will hear us,” he said.

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