Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has on Saturday stated that the challenges of nation-building in Nigeria are the repercussion of the defective foundation laid by colonialists.
He stated this at the launch of the N250 million Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje Lecture Theatre and Award at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Ganduje said the flawed foundation laid by the colonialists was done primarily to actualize their selfish interests rather than for true Nigeria’s development.
He said, “The challenges of nation-building in Nigeria are attributable to the very faulty foundation laid by the European colonial masters.”
“These were purely done to actualize their interests and not for any genuine development of the country.
“From this historical legacy, therefore, regionalism has been a major challenge to nation-building in Nigeria. Under these conditions, it was easy for prejudice and fear to thrive,
“Nation-building is about building a common sense of purpose, sense of shared destiny, and collective imagination of belonging.
He said nation-building is about building the tangible and intangible threads that hold a political entity together and give it a sense of purpose, adding that lack of consolidation around shared values and positions continues to undermine efforts at nation-building.
“This could be seen in the division between ‘indigenes’ and ‘settlers’, which has been a source of domestic tension and undermined our efforts at creating common nationhood.
“Leadership is a critical factor in nation-building that has to do with personal qualities of integrity, honesty, commitment, and competence of individual leaders at the top, and the collective qualities of common vision, focus, and desire for the development of the elites as a whole.
“Another important aspect of nation-building is the building of common citizenship. Common nationhood cannot be achieved while citizens are living such parallel lives. Nations are built by healthy and skilled citizens.
“On grounds of both equity and efficiency, we need to promote the access of the bulk of the Nigerian population to basic education, health, and housing.
“Nigeria needs a social contract with its citizens as a basis for demanding their loyalty and support. Leaders must raise governance standards by cultivating the culture of good governance.”