A former Nigerian permanent representative to the United Nations, Martin Uhomoibhi has said that many people are surprised that Nigeria has not fragmented
The former envoy disclosed this Friday at the first annual convention of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN) in Abuja.
According to the diplomat, the country has remained unbreakable despite the existential challenges it is facing.
“Nigeria is at the crossroads economically, politically and socially, indeed, some will even say that we are facing an existential threat.
“In my encounters everywhere, I have never shied away from saying that the problem that faces Nigeria -– the contest that goes on in Nigeria -– is not carnal, it is spiritual. The challenge of Nigeria is not carnal, it is spiritual. From my field experience, I know that the battle that we fight is not carnal, it is spiritual.
“The confrontation is between light and darkness. Talking from an empirical experience -– one who has held offices and still, perhaps, holding one or two, I know that if you are not strong spiritually and if you do not value the privilege that God has blessed you with, of being who you are, there are consequences.
“That Nigeria, my country, still exists today is a shock to many people. Nigeria is an enigma. Nigeria has remained strong. Nigeria is not in the hands of anybody.”
Uhomoibhi said the country needs a good leader who has the capacity to tackle the nation’s challenges.
“The problem of Nigeria is not God; the problem of Nigeria is Nigerians. The day that Nigerians decide and agree that these potentials locked and bound in this country must be actualised and become a reality, the work is done. Americans built America. Britons built Britain. Who will build Nigeria? Nigerians must build Nigeria.
“Would there be a South Africa today without Mandela? Mandela was in jail for 27 years. That was how South Africa became free. Would there be a Rwanda today without Paul Kagame? No. Where are our Mandelas? Where are our Kigames in the Nigerian space? They are there, but they are hiding.
“They are in their bedrooms lamenting and wailing; some are actually also praying. If you choose not to allow yourself to be used by God, or you made wrong choices, how can you blame God for that? You can pray from now till next year, but God will say: ‘I have done my bit, where is your part?’ There is a problem of leadership; there is also a problem of followership. There are inconsistencies and contradictions in our constitutional framework. The judicial space is in a deplorable condition at this time, and the democratic process is challenged.”
He advised Nigerians to get their permanent voters cards (PVC) and vote for leaders who will transform the country.
“Don’t be sleeping in the bedroom when elections are taking place. By that I mean you would take responsibility for whatever decision you take,” he said.
“Our system is not against youths. I am a historian so I would talk from the experience of history. I have lived sixty-plus years in this country as a Nigerian except for the years when I went to represent our country outside.
“Escaping from the country is your choice, but it is wrong to say that the grass is greener outside.”