Andrew Young, a former ambassador of the US to the UN, says Nigerians are always complaining about the government but that ”something is wrong with everybody”.
Young said this on Thursday at dinner organised by the Emeka Offor foundation for him in Abuja.
The event was also to mark the record of no wild polio virus case in Nigeria in three years.
The former US ambassador said he has never heard of a good government in Nigeria because of complaints by its citizens.
“Everybody knows that Nigerians are to be respected, if not feared, except you Nigerians. Nigerians are always complaining about themselves,” he said.
“Is like complaining about the government you have had, I never heard about a good government in Nigeria – something is wrong with everybody. Well let’s face it, the world has never and would be perfect.
“There have never been people that have come further and work harder and produce more with less and suffered more problems than the people of Nigeria and the government that you have produced.”
Young said it is a “tremendous accomplishment” for Nigeria to wipe out polio in its wild forms.
“I don’t know if you have 50 million people, 90 million people, 120 million people and you don’t know either but we know that polio has been cured,” he said.
“I remember polio as a boy because Franklin Roosevelt was a victim of polio and we started when we were little children to wipe polio, now here we are in Nigeria, with its millions and millions of people trying to end a disease that has killed millions and millions throughout its existence.
“So cannot tell me that things are not better, I look at the way the cities are growing, I look at the Nigerians that come to the United States of America and you don’t send dumb Nigerians there, they are all smart.
“Some might be a little sleek but they are all brilliant, they work hard. They solve problems.”
He also said South Africa would not be free today and Mandela would not be out today if not for Nigeria.
On his part, Offor said by March 2020, Nigeria would be officially certified polio free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Yesterday, 25th of August, Nigeria marked three years of [being] wild polio free, we got together and we decided that we should wait a little bit until we get the final certification from WHO which is due sometime in March 2020,” he said.