Some elder statesmen and prominent activists have said that Nigeria was on autopilot.

The prominent citizens, who made the assertion in a statement, include Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd.), Prof Attahiru Jega, Prof Jibrin Ibrahim, among several others.

Speaking under the platform of Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, they called on the government to rise up to its responsibilities of running the country well.

Cardinal John Onaiyekan

The statement reads, “The result is that corruption has gone completely out of control, as there is a concerted effort to dismantle anti-corruption agencies and render them ineffective, while evidence of corruption is growing, prosecution has slowed down considerably.

“The civil society actors noted that in the absence of a binding narrative, there are series of conspiracy theories that have emerged, with immense capacity to divide the country along the sharp lines of ethnicity and religion, which is further sustained by the absence of strategic communication between the Nigerian state and its citizens.

“This situation is further heightening the level of desperation among the citizens that are increasingly being detached from the everyday governance of the Nigerian State.

“Indeed, the presidency has adopted the strategy of responding to demands for urgent and holistic review of the basic structures and governance processes of our nation with demeaning statements.

“This tendency to abuse those who legitimately ask those with responsibility to listen to popular voices is alienating more Nigerians from the administration and playing into the hands of those who feed off desperation.

“The nation needs to adopt a sense of urgency in the way it deals with rapidly accumulating liabilities.

“Nigerians cannot wait for the convenience or pleasure of leaders in deciding what is important.

“We must avoid the tendency to ignore our problems until they become a lot worse in terms of the capacities of leaders to deal with them.

“We call on younger Nigerians in particular, to get involved in the search for a future without current levels of bitterness and dislocations.”

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