Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has faulted Nigerians who use the phrase, “May Nigeria not happen to me”.
While speaking on Channels TV on Monday, October 1, Fashola said such words should not have a place in public broadcast and that Nigerians need to learn how to address their reservations about the country with less negative criticism.
“The image and the pride of the nation is the public relations work of all of the people. If I came to your home today and every home has its bad place and not good for publicity, you wouldn’t show me that part. You will show mme your nice and tidy sitting room and that is the impression I will walk away with. That does not mean there are no issues in those homes. That does not mean all the bills have been paid. That is how we must treat our nation. It is not enough to begin to valorize things that Nigerians do outside the country, and that is important ambassadorial work that those people do and I take nothing away from it. But we must begin to emphasize a little more of these small things and use it to build hope.
My advice to you, your producers should in the same way advice people to retract statements that they make on your platform. Does kind of statement that ‘Nigeria should not happen to me’ should not have any place in our public broadcast” he said
The SAN stated that Nigeria needs to start emphasising on the minor things more and using them to inspire hope.
“Hope is the most important currency that sustains human civilization, that sustains harmony, and the expectation that I can make it,” he stated.
Fashola also advised the populace to stop prioritising their need to focus on Nigeria’s flaws rather than its assets.
“This is the time that all of us must put our hands on the plough. For those who want to denigrate the country, you must first ask them, ‘Do they have another country?’ I don’t have another one,” he said.
The former minister of works said he advised the present administration not to fear criticism as it is a necessary step in improving and furthering the benefit of the country.
“It is not just the work of government and it is the right to criticise the government. Criticism has helped serious governments; criticism helped me when I was in government and I believe that this government will listen to criticisms and use them as fire to build a better and warm place for all of us to be. In the name of criticism, there must be no negative word about this country, even if it has negatives. I remember a conference I attended, and the theme around which we discussed was that ‘can we all agree never to put forward Nigeria’s negative?’ and I have held to that commitment I made solemnly as much as I can.” he said
Watch a video of him speaking below