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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Our generation has failed Nigerians –Ike Nwachuwku

bolaji akinyemi
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Gen. Ike Nwa­chukwu (rtd) has urged Nigerian youths not to build on the mistakes of past and present leaders even as he regretted his generation of Nigerian leaders has failed the country.

“I want to point out that be­fore independence, we had three regions, Western, Northern and Eastern Nigeria. That was how we started. After independence, those who could not win elections on their own began talk about, I am Igbo, I am Hausa, I am Yoru­ba, I am this and that. NADECO led us to where we are today. The military tried to set these things but the politicians as we all know returned us to the era of I am Igbo, I am Yoruba and so on and so forth. It is now the responsi­bility of the youth. I join you in saying that our generation must have failed, our generation failed you. We tried as individuals but collectively our generation failed. So, for those of you who are com­ing behind us now, you must cor­rect those mistakes, and move our country forward”, he stated.

He made the remarks at a lec­ture delivered Tuesday by the for­mer Minister of External Affairs, and Deputy Chairman for 2014 National Conference, Profes­sor Bolaji Akinyemi on African Countries: Politices, Democracy and Ethnicity at Agip Hall, Mu­son, Lagos. The programme was attended by two other discus­sants; Dr. Sa’idu Ahmad Du­kawa, a Senior Lecturer, Depart­ment of Political Science Bayero University, Kano and Ms. Yemi Adamolekun, Executive Direc­tor, Enough is Enough (EIE), among other eminent Nigerians from different professions. Nwa­chukwu who was chairman of the occasion remarked while summarizing the lecture that since his generation has failed Nigerians, and it is, now the re­sponsibility of the youth to move the nation forward, and not to dwell on their past mistakes.

He said Nigeria today is struc­turally defective while he called for a true federal system. Ac­cording to him, “We do not have a balanced Nigeria and until we have a balanced Nigeria, we will continue to have problems like we have now. This was what the National Conference addressed and I attended that conference. I thought it would give me an opportunity to present my case before a balanced Nigeria.

“Where do I really belong? I am Ike Nwachukwu from an Igbo father, I am Umaru from a Northern Hausa Fulani mother from Kastina, I am married to a Yoruba woman who is from Egba. So who do I belong to? The National Conference gave me an opportunity and luckily I had to lead the South Eastern delegates. We went through the conference, night over night. I was with all the delegates at the conference, trying to find solu­tion to Nigeria’s problem and we believe that we did.”

He added that “It is not neces­sary to continue making refer­ence to past National Confer­ences, which includes Jonathan conference or Obasanjo confer­ence or Babaginda conference or Murtala Muhammed conference and others in the name of gov­ernment of Nigeria. When shall we come down to take the bull by the horn and save ourself less pain and create a strong united Nigeria? You must be a Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa before you are who you are. But when you be­gin to translate who you are, eth­nicity leads to ethnicism that is where the problem is and Nigeria cannot play more of ethnicism than really being a Nigerian.”

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