Elite must ask themselves why Nigeria is more divided today – Utomi

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Prof. Pat Utomi, renowned political economist, says Nigeria holds a very bright future in spite of her challenges.

Utomi, a former presidential candidate on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), made this remark while speaking in Lagos on the nation’s 61st Independence Anniversary.

According to him, the country has had her days of great hope, days of great expectations and days of despair and anxiety about whether it is facing the right direction not to talk of moving at the right speed in that direction.

“I believe Nigeria, in spite of all these problems, holds a very bright future. I see a Nigeria with a future so bright,” he said.

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Utomi, Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), told NAN that nation building had its challenges.

“However, this thing called nation building comes with ups and downs. What we must do is, first and foremost as an elite, ask ourselves the question why this country is more divided today that it has even been.

“We must must make a self-conscious effort to bridge these divides.

“They are not driven by logic and the rule of even those who push the divisions. They are largely driven by emotions and short-sightedness,” he said.

Utomi frowned at unguarded utterances and actions building tensions across the country.

“So, all decent people of goodwill should do a lot to learn how to talk to strangers and deal with people we do not know. This is the problem.

“People build up stereotypes about others and say all unjustifiable things to strangers and because of this, we have this tension that is tearing our country apart.

“The essence of democracy is rational public conversation,” Utomi added.

He said that such conversation would bring in lessons that would lead to growth and progress.

According to him, because emotions are being exploited so much, the nation is being challenged.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari harped on a peaceful and united Nigeria, among other things, in his 2021 Independence Day national broadcast. (NAN)

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