By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said that the journey of Nigeria since independence in 1960 was full of challenges in the areas of national security, peaceful coexistence, political and economic development.
The group through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Kaduna.
It said that the challenges have, however, not weakened the resolve of Nigerians to create a country of their dreams.
“Our founding fathers laid a good foundation for a prosperous Nigeria.
“The instability we witnessed in our polity, especially the military coups and the civil war, have affected and distorted our journey to a developed nation at 57.
”Nigeria as a nation at 57 is yet to realize its full potentials and deliver on the expectations of its citizens.
”We cannot ignore the fact that despite the upheavals due to shortcomings, we have been able to sustain the unity and stability of the country.
”We have also recorded and witnessed some progress in many areas that include education, infrastructural development, economy and relative political stability.
“Our 18 years of uninterrupted presidential system of democracy has placed Nigeria as one of the developing economies with high potential for greatness, if properly managed.”
The ACF appealed to Nigerians to regard the current challenges as part of the process of nation building.
It urged Nigerians to cooperate and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its war against corruption, insurgency and impunity in governance in order to pave the way for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation.
“We should not allow the temporary challenges to redefine our collective destiny or set our national agenda,” it said.
ACF, however, saluted the governments and people of Nigeria for their determination, perseverance, patience and hope in the nation.
The forum also called on both the elected and appointed leaders at all levels to re-examine their social contract with the electorates and do the needful.
It called on the leaders to refrain from fanning the embers of disunity and promotion of cleavages along ethnic and religious lines, adding that they should emphasise on the things that unite and make the nation great.
“At 57, Nigerians expect to see more of transparency, prudence, fairness and equity in governance and to feel the dividends of democracy.” (