1 February 2013

Nigeria Is Precious Enough to Be Saved - Babangida

Lagos — Former Military President retired General Ibrahim Babangida yesterday said for the nation to maintain its co-existence, each national group must have a sense of belonging, and to achieve this we need to arrive at a consensus.

Speaking in Lagos at the public presentation of two books written in honour of former Minister of External Affairs Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Babangida said the Nigerian Project was "the most appropriate mechanism" for addressing the nation's current challenges.

"What needs to be done is to ensure that each national group has a sense of belonging. We need to arrive at a consensus, which will move this nation forward. My position is dictated by my conviction that Nigeria is precious enough to be saved. And this deserves an investment of our time and resources, to make the Nigerian Project a success. All we need is a new mindset about the Nigerian Project. Let us therefore, begin by admitting our mistakes of the past", he said.

The former head of state said it was imperative for the country to urgently revisit issues bordering on the principle of Federal Character. "We can face the country's challenges together, united in the spirit of her greatness", also said.

The books are 'Nigeria and the World: A Bolaji Akinyemi Revisited', which was edited by the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa and 'Perspectives on Nigeria's National and External Relations' edited by Prof. Thomas Imobighe and Prof. Warisu Alli.

He lauded the contributions of Akinyemi for rendering service spanning 40 years to the country's diplomatic service, saying such contributions have made him even more relevant to Nigeria's foreign policy objectives.

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