By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed his optimism that Nigeria will emerge from its current challenges stronger.
The minister made the statement when he was featured at a special forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
“We have challenges just like any other country in the world but we are going to overcome.
“Some countries have not even experienced half of what we are going through before they collapsed but everybody must do his own bit.
“It is unfortunate today that many people are waiting for the country to disintegrate and many of them are disappointed that we are still standing on our feet.
“We will continue to wax stronger because these detractors and vocal naysayers are in the minority,’’ he said.
The minister charged every Nigerian to take ownership of the country and ensure that it is not plunged into war.
He said that Nigerians should resist the temptation of some selfish elites campaigning that Nigeria was better divided.
“It is because there is a country called Nigeria that is why there are journalists, professors, doctors and what have you.
“If you know what happened during the Liberian war, professors were working in bakeries in Lagos just to survive.
“When you look at some write-ups in our newspapers and social media, you begin to wonder whether the writers are patriots.
“If you don’t live in Nigeria and you are reading what they are writing, you will think that every part of Nigeria is at war.’’
Mohammed urged social commentators and critics to be dispassionate in their assessment and judgment on issues.
“We are not saying don’t criticize the government, you are at liberty to do so.
“However, stop de-marketing Nigeria. Stop setting one ethnic group or religion against the other and have the courage, to be honest, and forthright,’’ he advised.
Mohammed said that Nigerians must take possession of their country because if they did not build it, nobody would fix it for them. (NAN)