Nigeria better off together than fragments, pieces – Fayemi warns against breakup

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has warned that Nigeria is better off together and in unity than in fragments and pieces.

He spoke on Thursday at the launch of his book entitled: ‘Unfinished Greatness: Envisioning a New Nigeria’ in Abuja.

Fayemi said that despite the present difficulties Nigerians are facing, the nation would surely fulfill her destiny and do so as a united country built on justice, freedom, equity, and the rule of law.

According to him, this is the national agenda of our times, adding that everyone should partake in it for the national rebirth.

Fayemi said, “It is not easy not to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill and encouragement that has been so generously extended to me at home and abroad on the occasion of the public presentation of Unfinished Greatness: Envisioning a New Nigeria. In part, your presence here today in numbers and from all walks of life, and the online participation by numerous other compatriots and friends is a direct testament to the fact that despite the difficulties we face as a country, the Nigerian idea and ideal remain strong and indestructible. And that is really the essence of what I have devoted a good part of my life and career to an unshakable faith in the fact that we are better off together and in unity than in fragments and pieces.

“State- and nation-building all over the world have been and remain a permanent work in progress. Although some countries may enjoy a long span of relative tranquility, the historical fact also needs always to be remembered and restated that stability and progress require the deployment of a deliberate effort by citizens and those entrusted with leadership to advance the national agenda regardless of challenges. Even at that, there are no pre-ordained guarantees of success at all times; every country goes through high and low moments in its historical journey.

“When countries experience their high moments, it is incumbent on leaders to capture the opportunities that are offered to advance the frontiers of the national agenda. When, as is inevitable, bad days come, leadership must assume the responsibility for keeping the ideals of the national agenda high on the radar, provide citizens with a genuine basis for hope that better days lie ahead, and courageously undertake whatever reforms that are required by the times and for the achievement of the better days.

“Over the last few years, as our beloved country has been buffeted on all sides by a myriad of problems, I have, like many of you here present and online, experienced discomfort at the ease with which cheap and populist options which, yesterday, may have been laughed off as fringe ideas have gained in influence as to become mainstream. In the meantime, those who have held on to the goal of Nigerian oneness and unity have found themselves pushed to the margins and placed on the defensive.

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“Matters have not been helped by the inflammatory partisanship which many in leadership positions have adopted in part to score points against opponents but also in order to be recognised by their communities as truly representing their concerns. Too many seem to have forgotten that leaders should lead and not simply reproduce the base sentiments and narrow perspectives they encounter on the hustings. Leading means understanding the local concerns that are exercising the minds of our constituents, placing these in a wider context which, as leaders, we are uniquely positioned to see and formulate approaches that provide a meaningful and responsible way forward.

“I want to be clear. We are faced with a conjuncture of complex and uncommon challenges which must be confronted openly, head-on, and purposefully, rather than being denied, swept under the carpet, or simply wished away. In courageously admitting to and seeking ways to redress the challenges, however, it is important to remember that we come from somewhere, and in the journey we embarked upon as a country, we have scored some wins and a web of interdependencies bind us ever closer together. This reality should serve to condition and modulate our responses to the real challenges we face not with a view to throwing the baby out with the bathwater but in a determined effort to filter the bathwater so that it is purged of the impurities that could cause discomfort to the baby.

“It is this approach of seeking to build on our many gains as a country and a people whilst recognising and engaging our contemporary difficulties that underpin this book. We have had moments of greatness in all spheres of our national life and human endeavor. We have also seen many difficult days in our forward march to even greater heights. Problems must be understood to be part of our unfinished quest for greatness. And greatness has to be our permanent watchword as the only destiny that is acceptable to us and to Global Africa, which earnestly looks up to us for leadership. Nigeria will surely fulfill destiny and do so as a united country built on justice, freedom, equity and the rule of law. This is the national agenda of our times. I invite each and every one of us to partake in it for the national rebirth we must deliver.”

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