By Monday Ogar
A former Cross River State Commissioner of Education and Information Prof. Stella Attoe has asserted that the problem with Nigeria is deeply rooted in ethnicity and bitter politics that was planted by the way and manner the British administered the country during the colonial era.
She said this while delivering a paper ‘Nigeria @54: The Way Forward and Essence of Democracy’ at the Bishop Emmah Isong Inaugural lecture held at the Metropolitan hotel in Calabar.
Prof. Attoe said “we cannot move forward without looking backward, because if you don’t understand the past the present will definitely elude you”
She said the divide and rule policy, our acculturation, attitudes and mindset as shaped by the British have continued to be the source of the acrimony that has bedeviled our nascent democracy and advised that for our democracy to be strong, the country should imbibe tolerance, respect for opposition, fair media coverage etc.
While delivering his lecture on the topic ‘The Christian in Politics: A Case Study of William Wilberforce and its lessons for Nigeria’ Prof. Emmanuel Ekanem of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital went down memory lane to pinpoint how Nigeria’s problem started; deriving his points from the actions and work of a young British Christian who fought against slavery and won.
“Politics and being a good Christian are not incompatible, as a good mentor is necessary for a politician and the society he serves, just like what John Newton was to Wilberforce” he said.
Prof. Ekanem encouraged Christians not to shy away from politics as they are the readily available agents of change.
The public lecture which is part of activities to celebrate the 50 birthday of Bishop Emmah Isong had the theme ‘Nigeria…the Way Forward’.
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