Abuja (Sundiata Post) – A former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has criticised the popular phrase, “May Nigeria not happen to me”, urging Nigerians to address reservations about the country with less negative criticism.
“Those kinds of statements that ‘Nigeria should not happen to me’ or whatever it is, should not have any place again in our public broadcast,” Fashola said on Monday.
The former minister spoke while appearing on Channels Television’s Empowering Tomorrow themed: A New Vision for Nigeria, a special programme on the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence celebrated annually on October 1.
“The image and the pride of the nation is the public relations work of all of the people,” he continued.
“It is not enough to begin to valorize things that Nigerians do outside the country, and that is important ambassadorial work that those people do and I take nothing away from it.”
The SAN stated that Nigeria needs to start emphasising on the minor things more and using them to inspire hope.
“Hope is the most important currency that sustains human civilization, that sustains harmony, and the expectation that I can make it,” he stated.
Fashola also advised the populace to stop prioritising their need to focus on Nigeria’s flaws rather than its assets.
“This is the time that all of us must put our hands on the plough. For those who want to denigrate the country, you must first ask them, ‘Do they have another country?’ I don’t have another one,” he said.
The former minister of works said he advised the present administration not to fear criticism as it is a necessary step in improving and furthering the benefit of the country.
“It is not just the work of government and it is the right to criticise the government. Criticism has helped serious governments; criticism helped me when I was in government and I believe that this government will listen to criticisms and use them as fire to build a better and warm place for all of us to be,” he said.
“In the name of criticism, there must be no negative word about this country, even if it has negatives. I remember a conference I attended, and the theme around which we discussed was that ‘can we all agree never to put forward Nigeria’s negative?’ and I have held to that commitment I made solemnly as much as I can.”