Lagos State Gov. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday urged Nigerians to believe in Nigeria and the Nigerian project.
“That hope, dreams and expectations must not be lost, we must resolve this New Year to return to ourselves and give impetus to them.
“To do this successfully, we must begin to believe in Nigeria and the Nigerian Project once more,’’ he said in a New Year message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“We must start by defining for ourselves the kind of future that we want. It is only when we agree on this that we can unite towards recreating the Nigeria of our collective dreams.’’
Fashola expressed the optimism that the nation’s challenges were surmountable.
According to the governor, most of Nigeria’s problems are man-made that require conscious efforts by citizens to resolve them.
“Nigerians should shun religious and ethnic intolerance which is the cause of the nation’s woes.
“Looking back at all that we went through in the past year, perhaps, the time has come for us to take an introspective look at ourselves in an attempt to get to the root of our problems and challenges.
“The truth of the matter is that, whether it is the downturn in the economy or our security situation, the challenges are traceable to ourselves,” Fashola added.
Fashola urged Nigerians to re-invent the unity of purpose which existed in the sixties and seventies, saying they should draw strength from the nation’s diversity.
He said:“In the sixties, the citizens saw themselves as just Nigerians irrespective of tribe, tongue or religion.
“We have, as a result of myopic self and group interests, created an octopus that is threatening to devour our collective heritage.
“That octopus is embedded in the twin evils of ethnic and religious intolerance.’’