The Federal Government is cautious in responding to doomsday remarks about the future of Nigeria by former US diplomat John Campbell because it still values the long-standing relationship between it and the United States government, Minister of Information and Communication, Labaran Maku, has said.
Speaking, in Apapa on Thursday, Maku said it was unfortunate that even after serving as US ambassador to Nigeria, Campbell has instead chosen to irritate Nigerians with his warped views about issues affecting the country.
He said in all his submissions, Campbell has shown a shallow understanding of the religious and political configuration of the country, adding that the historical similarities in the evolution of both Nigeria and the United States require closer cooperation between the two countries for the progress of humanity.
“Both countries came into existence as a result of the activities of Western colonialists who were on expedition to new territories. In its formative years, the US had problem of North-south dichotomy with the country’s civil war just like Nigeria. Our presidential system of government is modeled after that of the US Most importantly; the US has many citizens whose parents are descendants of African migrants, one of who is today the President of the country, so we share a lot in common.
“The average Nigerian is sure and confident of himself, and as some will say, arrogant, just like the average American. The US, along with other countries, have partnered with us during our dark period to arrive at where we are today. It is however amazing that Ambassador Campbell has now become an endemic pessimist who sees nothing good about the future unity of Nigeria.
“I expected that as a former ambassador, he would have taken his time to fully go round the country and understand its history and peculiarities,” Maku added.
The minister however stated that the future of Nigeria does not rely on what Campbell and others say, but on the hands of Nigerians who are determined to see to the success of their country.
He urged the publishers to sustain the tempo and report the challenges facing the country in a manner that will help the government find solutions to the myriad of problems facing the country.
On preparations for the May 29 hand over date, Maku said despite the riots that trailed the last presidential election, the hand over date calls for celebration of the country’s democracy.
He said the government will use the opportunity to appraise the successes recorded in the last 12 years and lay a solid step for the success of the incoming administration.