Former president Ibrahim Babangida has called on Nigerians to forgive one another and be their brother’s keeper irrespective of culture and religion. Babangida made the call at the presentation of Tanko Yakassai’s autobiography, titled 'Tanko Yakassai: The Story of a Humble Life', ’in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said Nigeria was a country blessed with enormous resources, which could only be enjoyed when the people lived together in unity to work for development. He urged politicians to practise politics with fairness and justice, stressing that "if our politics are impartial, everybody would benefit and discrimination would be forgotten.
"Politics should not be corrupt nor be a source of corruption. In other developed countries, corruption is tackled seriously, that is what should be obtainable in Nigeria. "To erase corruption from Nigeria we must learn to obey the rule of law which is the right standard for our democracy.
"We have to take the destiny of this country into our hands, no one will do it for us. Nigerians must learn to forgive one another and be our brother’s keeper not minding our diversity." He congratulated Yakassai for putting down his knowledge and experience into writing, adding that "the books are an encyclopedia of Nigerian political history recommended for future generations." The guest speaker, Sen. Ken Nnamani, said that Nigeria was blessed with solid minerals and human resources, including Yakassai.
Nnamani said that the challenges facing Nigeria were not peculiar and urged Nigerians to come together and device ways of overcoming them. He said that the most critical challenges facing Nigeria were corruption and insecurity, adding , "we must find a way to overcome them.’’ He said that Nigeria required more urgent work to tackle its problems before they consumed it.
Nnamani decried the incessant corruption cases in Nigeria, saying, "we have never done enough to get to the root of corruption cases that is why they keep surfacing. "We must show seriousness in fighting corruption and it is in a peaceful environment that we can achieve our aim, that is why we must unite as one Nigeria to progress.
"The unity of Nigeria is not negotiable because people have shed blood to keep the country together. Will they now allow this country to be disintegrated? The answer is no. "As Tanko is celebrating at 85, we look forward to when Nigeria will celebrate her 100 years of independence and togetherness," Nnamani said.