The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Wednesday said Nigerians must not allow themselves be held hostage by the recklessness of the past.
Jega said this in a keynote address on “Broadcasting, Democratisation and the Challenge of the New Nigeria” at the National Broadcasting Commission’s Second Annual Lecture Series in Abuja.
He urged Nigerians to anticipate a brighter future and work hard towards it, stating that it could be disastrous being held up in the past.
Jega said, “The enormity of the challenges which Nigeria has faced and yet remained intact would have, arguably, dismembered and scattered any other African country. In spite of reckless misrule and profound centripetal tendencies, it still stands and ambles along.
“The persistence of many of these challenges provides some Nigerians with grounds for despondency and disillusionment, but provides many others with sufficient motivation to optimistically keep looking for opportunities to stabilise, consolidate and expand the gains.
“We must not be hostages to our reckless and unwholesome past. We must look to the future with determination and optimism. We should see the Nigerian federation as akin to a Catholic marriage – not necessarily a perfect union, but till death do us part – and strive to do anything humanly possible to find accommodation and live peacefully, and to prevent its annulment.”
Jega also asked President Buhari to reposition the nation’s public broadcasting industry.
He said, “The Buhari government has a responsibility, under the mantra of change for a new Nigeria, to contribute to the reform and repositioning of broadcasting, so that it can play remarkably improved role in Nigeria’s democratic development.”