24 January 2013

Nigeria: Briggs, Kukah, Mogae Differ On Centenary Celebration

Photo: http://www.vanguardngr.com
File photo.

A human rights activist, Ms Ann-Kio Briggs, Bishop Mathew Kukah and former president of Botswana, Mr Festus Mogae, yesterday disagreed over the planned centenary celebrations slated for January next year.

The Federal Government is planning to mark the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914.

The trio spoke yesterday at the 10th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja. While Briggs opined that there was no reason for the country to celebrate the event, Kukah and Mogae disagreed, saying there were cogent reasons for the celebration.

Briggs described the amalgamation as a forced union saying God did not put Nigeria together but that colonial masters forced Nigerians together.

She also attributed mutual distrust among various ethnic groups and structural imbalance as the creation of colonial masters and responsible for the poor state of Nigeria.

However, Kukah said though Nigeria has its own challenges, it has achieved some developments. He said not all Nigerian leaders were bad and called on critics not only to look at minuses over the years. He said the most important thing was for Nigerians to seek ways to address the challenges and move on.

Mogae, who was the chairman of the dialogue, said Nigeria has every reason to celebrate its 100 years of existence. He said if there were no reasons to celebrate, he wouldn't have visited Nigeria.

He said even though Nigeria has not achieved its full potentials, it has recorded some developments that even a blind man can see.

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