From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
A former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has warned politicians and Nigerians to desist from playing politics with the nation’s security challenges.
Mr. Abubakar stated this, Tuesday, during the official unveiling of The Cable, a new online newspaper, in Lagos.
“At this moment of our nationhood, we are facing several challenges, security challenges as well as the need to reduce poverty. Let us join hands to fight these common challenges,” said Mr. Abubakar, a retired Army General.
“It is in our interest as a country to be peaceful and prosper. We have no other country to call our own.
“I appeal to politicians and all Nigerians to always put Nigeria first, to forget their differences when the issue of security of Nigeria is at stake.
“Perhaps, our politicians can learn some lessons from America. Whenever election is around the corner, they identify themselves as Democrats and Republicans. But as soon as election is over, they’ll identify themselves as Americans,” Mr. Abubakar, who was the Father of the day, continued.
“I understand that all politicians will always be politicians, but it should not be destructive,” he added.
After Mr. Abubakar’s opening remarks, the event dissolved into a discussion session themed ‘Nigeria at 100: Reflections on the Future.”
Among the discussants were Babatunde Fashola, the Lagos State Governor; Chris Anyanwu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy; Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria; John Momoh, Founder, Channels TV; and Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman of Thisday Newspapers.
Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Group, was “unavoidably absent” as he was attending a dinner for the 100 richest people in the world hosted by Forbes, according to Kadaria Ahmed, the event’s anchor.