Forget Our Reckless Past – Attahiru Jega to Nigerians

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral
Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Wednesday told
Nigerian leaders and citizens not to allow themselves to be
held hostage by the recklessness and maladministration of
the past.
Jega, who spoke on “Broadcasting, Democratisation and
the Challenge of the New Nigeria” in a keynote address at
the National Broadcasting Commission’s Second Annual
Lecture Series in Abuja, also called on President
Muhammadu Buhari to reform the nation’s public
The former INEC boss said although the country had
passed through so much that could mar many African
countries, there was no reason to be held up in the past.
He urged Nigerians to look to a brighter future and work
hard towards it.
Jega said, “The enormity of the challenges which Nigeria
has faced and yet remained intact would have, arguably,
dismembered and scattered any other African country. In
spite of reckless misrule and profound centripetal
tendencies, it still stands and ambles along.
“The persistence of many of these challenges provides
some Nigerians with grounds for despondency and
disillusionment, but provides many others with sufficient
motivation to optimistically keep looking for opportunities
to stabilise, consolidate and expand the gains.
“We must not be hostages to our reckless and
unwholesome past. We must look to the future with
determination and optimism. We should see the Nigerian
federation as akin to a Catholic marriage – not necessarily
a perfect union, but till death do us part – and strive to do
anything humanly possible to find accommodation and live
peacefully, and to prevent its annulment.”
Jega said the All Progressives Congress and Buhari which
suffered acclaimed disadvantage, media wise, in the build
up to the 2015 general elections had the opportunity to
reform public broadcasting in Nigeria now that the table
had turned around.
He said, “The Buhari government has a responsibility,
under the mantra of change for a new Nigeria, to
contribute to the reform and repositioning of broadcasting,
so that it can play remarkably improved role in Nigeria’s
democratic development.”

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