A member of the Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, Prof. Anya Oko Anya, Dr Christopher Kolade and other elder statesmen on Thursday called for de-programming and reprogramming of Nigeria for it to get out of its current challenges.
According to them, for peace and prosperity of every Nigerian, the drums of war have to be silenced so as to attain meaningful development.
“This can be achieved through inspirational and innovative leadership.
“We must explore widely, look deeply, act fast, and be ready to think out of the box.
“The fact that things are not the way they ought to be in Nigeria is not debatable; but we must not allow ourselves to be dragged into an abyss, because of the troubles of the hour,” he said.
Anya, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), said age and wisdom informed that “this is the hour when great courage, faith, and wisdom are in urgent demand”.
“This is because there are too many voices in the wind, and it is not every voice that wishes the nation well.
“While it may be true that many routes lead into an African market, it is certain that the road of violence and bloodshed, definitely, is not an option in the process that will determine the Nigeria future.
“Many people are calling for a restructuring of the nation, but we will plead that such exercise must be preceded by a reprogramming of Nigeria to erase animosities and strife.
“So that all conversations can then be conducted in an atmosphere that is productive, fruitful and peaceful,” Anya said.
On his part, Kolade, who is the Chancellor of McPherson University, Seriki-Sotayo, Ogun, said there was need to pay attention to the words and wise counsel of the elders.
He explained that the country deserved deliverance from suffering into the liberty of hope, which reinstates basic African values and regaining a high regard for human worth.
“Hope that restores to us, our glorious and rich heritage.
“A heritage that boasts of the proverbs of peace and conflict resolution tools, which ensures that war is not ever declared, except when absolutely necessary.
“A heritage shared with the rest of mankind, demonstrated by the trite fact that we have never heard of any nation with a ministry for offence; even in the modern age,” Kolade said.
Also, Mr Shyngle Wigwe, a former Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), said Nigerians need faith to look beyond the dark clouds into a future based on inspiration and innovation, instead of locking our children in the prisons of the past.
He said, for too long, Nigerians have permitted distractions and diversions to keep the titan of West Africa in chains.
Wigwe added that the rest of the continent had been waiting for “the giant of Africa” to awaken and Nigeria should not disappoint destiny.
He said: “Working across every strata of society and the cohorts of age, we must multiply goodness and expand its light to overcome every force of darkness that is troubling our land.