Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, confirmed, on Monday, that Nigeria was built on a false foundation.
He regretted the fact that the cracks on Nigeria’s foundation had continued to widen due to unpatriotic activities fuelled by religious divide, ethnic consideration, nepotism and most recently, fake news on social media.
He said that though there is hope for a better and greater Nigeria, if only the citizens would own, love, cherish Nigeria and most importantly, discouraged anything that would damage its reputation in the comity of nations.
Adesina spoke at a youth engagement programme, Naija Youth Talk, with the theme “the Nigeria we want,” jointly organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Department for International Development (DFID) to mark the 2019 World Literacy Day, in Abuja.
The programme was meant to provide a platform for youths to discuss issues of education, human and national development, also build their capacities and confidence to achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Adesina in his remark said: “Nigeria, obviously, has many fault lines. Few among the faults are religion, ethnicity, language, nepotism and the most recent one is fake news which is being used to undermine Nigeria, cause bitterness, malice and incite Nigerians against each other.”
He said, for instance, the recent xenophobic videos trending online were not authentic. They were deliberately exhumed by some unpatriotic people and were being shared to incite Nigerians against themselves.
He added: “We must love our country and our country must reciprocate by loving us in return. Nigeria in its past and maybe present state maybe not be loveable but we must see reasons to profess our love to it with our heart.”
The UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, who was represented by UNICEF Chief of Education, Euphrates Efose, exposed to participants enormous opportunities in today’s world and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunities to transform themselves, their environment and the world.
She used different verifiable stories and personal experiences to justify to the youths that there were plenty opportunities of wealth amidst murmuring and complains of lack of opportunity.
She reaffirmed the commitment of UNICEF to any cause that would herald significant transformation in health, education and total life package of children in Nigeria and the world in general.