Babatunde Moshood Fasanu is a senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN and a renown Public affairs analyst. In this interview with Saturday Vanguard, bears his mind on Nigeria’s 53yrs of independence. He is however of the opinion that the Sovereign national conference is the major solution to Nigeria’s challenges. Excerpts;
What is your view about the celebration of Nigeria’s 53rd independent anniversary in respect of insecurity couple with ethnicity?
On the positive side, I think we have gone far despite going through doom and gloom we still call ourselves Nigerians but unfortunately there are a lot of things that should not be, that are in the negative especially the issue of terrorism, corruption and other related issues .
As a young man after the independence, I know that there were lots of hope, because when I finished my school certificate and was to gain admission into the University, I could remember vividly that it was people that did not perform well in their secondary school final exams that traveled abroad, some of them maybe got scholarship but most of them were basically people that did not perform well in their school certificate.
But people that passed very well your aspiration is to get admission into one of the basic Universities then which are in Lagos, Ife, Zaria, and later Benin. So if you are not fortunate to get into these institutions then you are no where.
years later our University system crashed. This is just one of the challenge facing the system, those hope that we had then on our great country has been dashed and I as a person that has went through the good times in this country, I am not happy at all.
Unfortunate I had to send my Children abroad just because I can afford it but if the system is in a better condition I could have used the money to do some other remarkable projects like funding the education of indigent students here more but I had to take my children abroad because I know we don’t have good tertiary education any more which is contrary to the way I was brought up. It was post graduate that my father considered me traveling abroad for , I could not even wait to finish before I came back because he later wanted me to enroll for my PHD but I insisted on coming back because of the hopes I have in this country.
By the grace of Allah I am not regretting it, but it is not everybody. Not because they are not gifted or they are not working hard enough but the state of the country is not too encouraging. Un- like in the western world, where people that put minimum efforts get encouraging result.
For instance practicing lawyers in the United Stated US, cannot put half of the effort we are putting but they get better result than us here and they fly in private Jets. But if I want to attempt that I have to join the Politicians in corrupt practices.
In other words is almost impossible for me to get it as a Lawyer no matter how much I work hard , so that is the tragedy we are faced with in Nigeria now.
If we are celebrating 53rd Anniversary we have to put it in perspective but I believe it is the People that will make the change we envisage not our rulers, because with what we are seeing as far as I am concerned we don’t have leaders. The people have to find a way to make them do what they ought to do.
The state of insecurity in Nigeria?
Their is a place in the holy Qur’an that stated that if anybody does not believe in your religion leave them to their fate, so how can anyone in the name of Islam justify that killing people is Godliness. I think the government has to take a wholesome view and take a drastic step to cubing the malady than what they are doing because what they are doing is just mere cosmetic approach ignoring the major problem.
What is your advice on curbing insecurity in Nigerians?
I heard recently that the Inspector General Police admonished Nigerians to avoid public places like shopping malls, that is sorrowful we have to be aware of the problem
I think one of the major thing we can do is Political. which I believe is the sovereign national conference, because if we have sovereign national conference we can then have something like no go area for some issues
if we have that conference we will be able to sort out issues like religion, if in your own state you want to make it a religious state so be it. If in my state it is secularism so be it. I strongly believe it will solve many issue that is besieging our unity as a nation. But many people are of the opinion that nothing will divide us as a nation which I strongly object.