Former minister of works and housing Babatunde Fashola on Monday called for an end to the use of the phrase ‘May Nigeria not happen to me,’ stating that citizens must stay hopeful.
“Those kinds of statements that ‘Nigeria should not happen to me’ or whatever it is, should not have any place again in our public broadcast,” Fashola said on Channels Television’s “Empowering Tomorrow,” a special programme on Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.
“The image and the pride of the nation is the public relations work of all of the people.
“It is not enough to begin to valorise things that Nigerians do outside the country. That is an important ambassadorial work that those people do. I take nothing away from it.”
Fashola stressed that Nigeria needs to start emphasising on minor but important things and use them to inspire hope.
“Hope is the most important currency that sustains human civilisation, that sustains harmony, and the expectation that I can make it,” he said.
Fashola, a lawyer and former governor of Lagos, urged the Tinubu administration not to fear criticism as this is a necessary step in improving the country.
“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 ‘Can we all agree never to put forward Nigeria’s negative?’
“I have held to that commitment I made solemnly as much as I can,” he added.