The former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, saturday declared that Nigeria will not break up, despite campaigns by those he described as unpatriotic politicians and ethnic jingoists to ensure the disintegration of the country.
Ribadu made the declaration at a public lecture organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, maintaining that time has come for Nigerian youths to stand up and defend the nation’s unity and also fight against retrogressive elements who are working against the growth and development of the nation.
In his paper, titled “Political Engagement: A New Approach…Youth: The Fulcrum of Every Society”, Ribadu said “the biggest illusion we have lived in as a people, is believing the cry heard from various corners that Nigeria is an unnatural entity coerced together .“
He said such thinking was a very inaccurate judgement.
He lashed out at some leaders, who according to him, were using ethnic and religious factor as a political weapon to sustain themselves in public office and urged the youth to shun such divisive tendencies and work together for a strong and united Nigeria.
While canvassing for a dynamic change for the nation in the area of politics, social and economic development, Ribadu stressed that such change should lead to a functional society and a new Nigeria in the near future.
According to him, “change, in this time of political anarchy is the wisdom to see through the propagandas designed to destabilise the country. Change, in this trying time, is the strength to stand together despite the blowups of bombs-per-meter-square in our land.”
He noted that in 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule, Nigerians were hopeful for a civilian government in which everyone would be active an participant, lamenting however that “our democracy has led into chaos where the who and the what of our identifications are colourfully worn to pronounce our differences and divides”.
He said the future of a strong, united and prosperous Nigeria was in the hands of the youths who are the leaders of tomorrow and urged them to be patriotic and avoid being used by unpatriotic people to undermine the nation.