The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has criticised Nigeria’s founding fathers for failing in nation-building, News About Nigeria reports.
He said this in his remarks at a national dialogue and public presentation of 21 books in honour of Prof. Udenta Udenta, to mark his 60th birthday in Abuja.
He stated that Nigerian founding fathers paid greater emphasis on ethnic and identity politics at the expense of building Nigeria into a cohesive nation.
According to him, while they should be praised for their struggle for independence and the victory that followed, they are also to be blamed for doing a poor job at nation-building.
Jonathan who served as chairman of the occasion also stated that there was no sense of commitment from Nigeria’s founding fathers to integrate the Nation into an entity with core values that would guide the people.
In his words: “There was no sense of commitment to integrate Nigeria into an entity that you can say yes, this is a nation with core values, common philosophy and people will be patriotic to that nation.
“The country was so polarised, especially during the early political party formation and the parties were regional parties.
“Of course, if you have read some of the comments of our former leaders, someone like (Obafemi) Awolowo made it very clear that there was no nation called Nigeria. It is a geographical entity, it is a country, it is a state, it has laws but there is no nation.
“I am not blaming our founding fathers but they failed to integrate us into a proper nation. They operated as individuals and so on.
“Have we been able to convince ourselves whether we are a state or a nation? If we are a country and a state, how do we become a nation?,” he queried.