Former President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Rtd), has lamented that 61 years after attaining independence, Nigeria is just trying to be a nation.
He made this known when he was playing host to a pan-Nigerian group called Team New Nigeria, (TNN) at his Hill-top residence in Minna, Niger State, on Monday.
According to him, those of them who had the opportunity to rule the country tried to build a Nigeria where all citizens are patriotic and think about the country first, however, lamented that Nigerians still talk in terms of tribes, region and religion.
“We are just trying to be a nation, we have not succeeded yet. But, it is a good thing that people like you have come together to say, Enough! We have to do something.
“I think, this is something that, is long overdue. I have continued to engage a lot of my friends, brothers and colleagues about this great country. Sixty-one years after, we still talk in terms of tribes, regions or religions.
“I think your movement is something that is worthy of emulation and it is something to congratulate you about, for coming together from your various professions, tribes and regions. You are the true Nigerians,” he said.
To this end, he pledged to mobilise national support for Team New Nigeria (TNN) with a view to accomplishing the aims and objectives of the group.
The former Head of states, who is also the Grand patron of the group, had earlier accepted honorary membership of the group in October 2021.
Earlier, the President of the group, Dr Modibbo Yakubu Farakwai appreciated the good gesture of the former President for accepting to be the Grand Patron of Team New Nigeria (TNN).
He pointed out that, Team New Nigerian was deliberately crafted to reflect the aspirations of the founding fathers of Nigeria about what an ideal nation should be. Adding that, “our genuine quest as members to instil patriotism in Nigerians.
“We seek to promote genuine democratic values, equality, diversity and inclusiveness, as well as peaceful coexistence and sustainable community development, by engaging support young people, women and men through education, entrepreneurship skills.
“We have already established administrative structures across the six geographical zones to achieve our aims and objectives,” Farakwai said.
He solicited support and guidance from the people and institutions within the framework of the TNN Center for Democracy and Community Development.
Dr Farakwai said this is in conformity with a mission to encourage Nigeria through youth training and advocacy to enhance ethical, moral, social, economic and political pursuits.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Team New Nigeria Dr, Shuaib Muhammad and other members of the National Working Committee of the group were among the entourage.