Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has admitted Nigeria was never one country and will continue to be a work in progress.
Saraki noted that the country was joined together by the British for administrative purposes.
He said this while responding to a question from DAILY POST on Nigeria’s progress since its Independence on October 1, 1960, during an Independence Day lunch with Nigerian youths, held in Abuja at the weekend.
Saraki said that Nigeria should not be compared with some other countries that do not have diversity from day one in terms of its process.
The former Senate President pointed out that the country’s major problem had come in the areas of leadership and values, blaming the citizenry for this.
“I read a book on how Nigeria was formed and I realized that we were never one country. We were two countries but it was efficient for the British to bring the two countries together for administrative purposes,” Saraki said.
“It made sense at that time to bring the two countries together for commercial purposes. From day one, Nigeria is going to be a work in progress because it’s a country with so much diversity. So, we can’t compare ourselves with some other countries that don’t have diversity ab initio.
“Even with these challenges that we have…despite those diversities, I think we are a society that is very very patient. I think most countries, based on what people are going through now, will not be able to take it. We are ready to give people opportunities; we are fresh and take a lot.
“And I think that what we haven’t been able to get right is leadership and values. And about values, all of us must take the blame on that. For example, someone just pops up in our neighborhood overnight and shows wealth and we just accept the person into our society…just like that.
“A society that continues to allow that, where are the values for hard work; where’s the value for doing things right? What message are we sending? The message that if you don’t cut corners…so, as a country we need to redefine that.”