Nigerians should learn from Rwanda, says Jonathan
3rd September 2022
Former president Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to learn from Rwanda on how to build a nation devoid of ethnic biases.
Jonathan in his keynote address to mark the 80th birthday anniversary celebration of an elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, in Owerri, Imo State, on Saturday, said Nigerians should emulate the people of Rwanda in getting over their National challenges.
The ex-president said that Nigerians had played ethnic politics to the detriment of their national cohesion.
He urged Nigerians to use the 2023 general elections to right the wrongs.
Jonathan eulogized the Igbo for contributing immensely to the development of Nigeria.
He said “As a nation, we have challenges, but we should not be slaves to our challenges. Let us get over the obstacles and move forward.
“We have to adapt. We must not conform to perceived aberrant behaviour considered to be politically correct.
“Let us look at the case of Rwanda after the genocide, they reconfigured their nation. In today’s Rwanda, tribe is no longer an issue. They all see themselves as one people.
“The incoming Nigerian leaders must take deliberate steps to whittle down the ethnic cleavages pulling us apart and pulling the nation backward.
“So, my appeal to all Nigerians is to de-emphasize our differences and focus on the issues that bind us.
“Luckily, we are in an election cycle, so my challenge to the youth is to take charge of their future; by electing those who believe in our unity and will promote peace and progress, not those who will erect ethnic walls and religious barriers among our people.
“We have over-ethnicized our politics to the detriment of our country and collective growth. We need to stop this.
“Collectively, if we work together and accommodate our differences, we can build a nation where everybody will have a sense of belonging, and everyone’s rights will be guaranteed.
“That is the way we must go; a Nigeria where equality and justice reign.
“Let me conclude that I am happy our father, Chief Iwuanyanwu, has added a decade to the biblical three scores and ten; I wish him more years of celebrations in good health and prosperity.”