Samuel Luka, Bauchi
A Professor of Theology and Social Ethics, Yusufu Turaki has said that the Nigerian state does not have the basic pre-requisites of nation building and national integration.
The Professor who was speaking at a maiden summit organized by the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice (PSJ) in Jos, the Plateau state on Friday, noted that, for the country to move forward, social justice must be entrenched.
Our Corresspondent reports that the maiden summit drew no fewer than 151 youths as participants from across 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Presenting a paper on the topic, “Historical Roots of Social Justice in Nigeria”, Professor Turaki observed that, the Colonial masters did not conclude their decolonization process before handing over governance to Nigerians in 1960.
He decried that Nigeria as a country and Nigerians as a people lack national values, standards, ideals and a code of conduct as social prerequisites for nation building, national integration and national development.
“Nigeria lacks a National Ethic that can moderate the social conduct, attitudes, behaviours and practices of all Nigerians, regardless of their ethnicity, tribe, region, religion and culture”, the Professor said.
The Professor traced the root of Nigeria’s woes to the British Colonial Rule and its inconclusive decolonization process.
He said that the current socio-political state of Nigeria shows that Nigeria is more divided than ever.
According to him, the country is replete with signs of a failing state with a pervasive, chronic and endemic social and moral decadence and endemic corruption, and indiscipline, characterized by social ills of incessant ethno-religious crises, conflicts and violence.
Professor Yusufu Turaki further pointed out that Nigeria is currently being overwhelmingly controlled by the forces of social chaos and social and institutional decay.
“National social vices are just too many, like terrorism, jihadism, banditry, kidnapping, etc. Lawlessness and uncertainties rule Nigeria’s psyche, social and moral life”, he said.
The Professor who urged the participants to be the agents of positive change for Nigeria, opined that something drastic is needed to be done to bring Nigeria back from its current state of despair, ruin and disintegration.
Professor Yusufu Turaki observed that Nigeria with all what it takes to be a great Nation is been tight down by lack of good developmental and positive values, foundational morality and ethics, good leadership and good governance.
“Since independence, Nigeria has not been able to create a good economy and wealth, productive citizens and workforce, and a conducive and viable Nigerian society and states”, he said.
The Professor identified divisive and negative values and forces of ethnocentrism and primordialism, regionalism, and religious, ethnic and cultural bigotry as some of the greatest obstacles to Nigeria’s development and transformation.
“Because the problems of Nigeria are endemic, which many Nigerians feel are incurable. Thus, they desire to check out from the colonial amalgamation on the 1st of January 1914 and the repudiation of the imposed constitutions upon Nigeria that hold them in bondage to the unworkable amalgam called Nigeria”, the Professor stated.
He asserted that, it is impossible for Nigerians to contain with the nature of the country’s religious, ethnic, communal, regional clashes, riots, conflicts, political, economic and developmental issues without understanding their primordial and colonial past.
For Nigerians to have a grasp of their diversity, Professor Yusufu Turaki observed that the citizens must understand what they were before the coming of colonial masters.
He said, “it is not possible for us to solve contemporary Nigeria’s political, economic, regional, ethnic and religious issues, without correcting some of the inherited negative primordial and colonial structures and values”.
The Professor said that the contemporary Nigeria can get it right in redressing the negative legacies if it is to be reoriented along the paths and principles of equality, justice, freedom, rights and equity in all relationships.
“It is not possible to achieve peace, unity and respect for human dignity and worth, if we have not personally and collectively made a deliberate effort and commitment to these noble virtues as the primary goal or end of our dialogue and relationships”, Professor Yusufu submitted.
“We must be committed personally and collectively to peace, unity and human rights and see them as the ultimate goal and values which we must attained”, he added.