Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described as “senseless and tragic,” the murders of dozens of agriculture students gunned down in their sleep in Gujba, Yobe, saying it casts a “horrible image” on the events making the 53rd National Day Anniversary.
“As a father, I am deeply saddened by these senseless murders. These were young Nigerians studying agriculture with a goal of helping to feed our nation,” Atiku said.
“We must urgently review our strategy for confronting these cowards. The murders at the Gujba College of Agriculture are further proof we need to rethink how we provide security for our nation.”
Atiku pointed to a quote by American civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a rallying point for Nigeria: “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”
“We must organize ourselves better to provide dignity and security for Nigeria. To defeat terror we must use much more potent, unbeatable weapons: democracy, education and opportunity,” challenged Atiku.
Turning his attention to National Day, Atiku said, “grand intentions without vision meant nothing. Leaders must work with greater zeal and focus if democracy is expected to produce the envisaged impact on the lives of the people.”
“Nigerians have lost faith in their government because of this lack of vision in the management of the nation’s political, economic and social affairs,” said the former Vice President.
Reviewing the state of affairs in the country under democratic order, Atiku Abubakar stated that leaders should not seek elective offices simply for the sake of power if they lack the vision to push economic growth, which in turn, creates employment and greater prosperity for the citizens.
According to him, “The economy is
central to everything and demands vision driven leadership to move forward.”
He lamented, “Our economy has weakened in the past few years with crippling unemployment, especially among our youth. Nigeria has become unable to deliver the goods and services to give our people a decent standard of living and dignity.”
The former Vice President restated his commitment to work with any willing Nigerians to make a difference and expressed concern at the unchanging shambolic state of national infrastructure and the deteriorating state of education in the country.
He said vision was not achieved by mere rhetoric and good intentions. Instead, he said, leaders at all levels need to be adequately equipped for the job they were elected to do.
Atiku repeated his position that as an oil-rich nation, Nigerian leaders have no excuses to fail, adding that inexperience; lack of adequate preparation for office and drift should not be allowed to stand in the way of the country.
He also argued that challenges like attracting and sustaining foreign direct investments, improving education, boosting the manufacturing sector, enhancing power generation, improving security, tackling poverty and unemployment had direct relationship with the quality of leadership a country has.
According to Atiku, vision doesn’t exist in a vacuum, adding that performance levels could not be separated from the qualities of elected leaders.
The former Vice President said one of the challenges facing democratic governance is the lack of emphasis on issues and the promotion of sentiments over substance.
Throughout the world, he said, the citizens base their choices of leaders on their proven abilities to deliver. According to him, democracy is too important to be left in the hands of those seeking elective offices for its own sake without the vision to deliver the country from its quagmire.