By Obinna Unaeze
Prof. Mohammed Kuta-Yahaya, lecturer at the University of Ibadan, says the challenge of maximising human and material potentials available in Nigeria, has remained one of the country’s impediments since independence on Oct. 1, 1960.
Kuta-Yahaya, a former Secretary to Niger Government, made the observation in Bida, Niger, during an event marking the country’s 63rd independence anniversary.
“Nigeria is a nation of extraordinary endowment of both human and material resources.
“The challenge facing the country is maximising our human and material potentials which is the main burden we have been carrying for some time now, which has become the obstacle,” he said.
He said there was the need to harness the country’s abundant human and material resources to make them better for citizens.
He stressed the need to get the best leaders to run Nigeria, to bring about peaceful co-existence and development of the country.
“Let us get the right leaders to run the country, but let it not be the exclusive preserve of a few because of their selfish interests.
“Let those who are not advantaged enough also be allowed to contribute in governance,” he said.
The lecturer said there was the need to celebrate Nigeria at 63, despite challengs of nation building.
Accordding to him, it is true that we have had our issues as a nation, but we have made some progress; therefore, we need to give gratitude to God for having come this far.
He noted that with the revolution of democratic governance in the country, a lot had happened.
“Some of the happenings are positive, while others are extremely negative,” he said.
The don said that the country was experiencing different phases of life which would metamorphose into positive development in future for the people.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon become a great nation again.
“I am convinced that the time has come for all Nigerians to come together since some people have predicted disintegration for us and the country is still together as one indivisible entity.
“This is because God loves Nigeria and Nigerians.
“All we need to do now is to take advantage of our successes, breakthroughs and exploits at the national level and international arena to make Nigeria great again.
“This is the time of introspection for our leaders at all levels to look beyond themselves and think about the collectivity of the Nigerian nation.
“It has to do with the citizens – disadvantaged, vulnerable and the poor – and God will have mercy on us as a nation,” he said.
Kuta-Yahaya said that wherever any leader found himself, there was the need to be fair and just to all, irrespective of their religious and cultural affiliations in order to entrench peace, unity and development.
“No matter the advantage you have as a leader, either elected or selected, you must be fair and just to your fellow human beings in order to make the system work,” he said.
He enjoined the leaders to be sincere and not to oppress the followers and also appealed to the followers to respect their leaders, for the progress of the country
“If we are patient, it will enable us to achieve great success.
“The time has come for all Nigerians to begin to have value reorientation, to be able to remove all our bottle necks.
“Let us come together and fight all the bottlenecks, so that we shall overcome them.
“I don’t have doubt that Nigeria will become like Singapore one day,” he said.
The don expressed the opinion that there must be element of demonstration of commitment by the leaders and the followers to enable citizens to achieve the desired goal to better the country.
NAN reports that Kuta-Yahaya is a Nigerian academic, writer and professor of agriculture and foresty, University of Ibadan.
He served as Secretary to Niger Government under former Governor of Niger, Babangida Aliyu, and was also Commissioner for Information, and Agriculture in the state. (NAN)