Let’s replace ‘Nigeria not happening to me’ with solutions says Fashola
A former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has voiced his disapproval of the well-known phrase, “May Nigeria not happen to me,” and has encouraged Nigerians to address their concerns about the country with less negative criticism.
“Those kinds of statements that ‘Nigeria should not happen to me’ or whatever it is should not have any place again in our public broadcast,” Fashola said on Monday.
The former Lagos State governor expressed his views while participating in Channels Television’s Empowering Tomorrow programme with the theme “A New Vision for Nigeria,” which aired on October 1 to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.
“The image and the pride of the nation is the public relations work of all of the people,” he said.
“It is not enough to begin to valorize things that Nigerians do outside the country, and that is important ambassadorial work that those people do and I take nothing away from it.”
The former works minister said that Nigeria needs to start emphasising on the minor things more and using them to inspire hope.
“Hope is the most important currency that sustains human civilization, that sustains harmony, and the expectation that I can make it,” he stated.
Fashola also recommended that the public shift their focus from dwelling on Nigeria’s shortcomings and instead prioritise recognising its strengths and assets.
“This is the time that all of us must put our hands on the plough. For those who want to denigrate the country, you must first ask them, ‘Do they have another country?’ I don’t have another one,” he said.
The former Minister of Works emphasised that he had counselled the current administration not to shy away from criticism, as it serves as an essential tool for enhancing and advancing the nation’s welfare.
“It is not just the work of government and it is the right to criticise the government. Criticism has helped serious governments; criticism helped me when I was in government, and I believe that this government will listen to criticisms and use them as fire to build a better and warm place for all of us to be,” he said.
“In the name of criticism, there must be no negative word about this country, even if it has negatives. I remember a conference I attended, and the theme around which we discussed was that ‘can we all agree never to put forward Nigeria’s negative?’ and I have held to that commitment I made solemnly as much as I can.”(BusinessDay)