Former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, has asked Nigerians to be patient in the face of economic, health and security challenges, saying that everything that has a beginning has an end.
In an interview with Channels Television, Babangida said, “2020 has been a challenging period, not for this country alone but throughout the world. If look at the world, there was covid-19 which is here in Nigeria, then the economic situation, there were also issues of security. So 2020 has been a very challenging year in terms of health, security and the economy.
“I think in Nigeria, it has been quite challenging. We remain grateful to God that He will get us through these challenges.
“What affected the world has affected us. The lesson we have to learn as a result of what we went through in 2020 has something to do with how we were able to address issues of Covid-19. It hasn’t finished yet. Some new mutations have been discovered.
“So whatever lesson we have acquired or learnt in 2020, we should be able to do better in 2021.
“There are a lot of people who don’t believe the problem of this pandemic. Some people do not take it as a serious issue, and have been lukewarm in abiding by the government regulations. We are saying it is real.
“We appeal to people to take it as a serious issue and go along with what the health providers ask us to do. We should obey the health protocols.”
The former Nigerian head of state also asked Nigerian leaders to lead by example and advised them to mobilise the citizenry against insecurity.
Ibrahim Babangida said, “You cannot fight such a war without adequate intelligence information. Not that the information comes to you, you have to go where you can to get the information for the purposes of carrying out your plans. I hope a lot of emphasis will be put on intelligence gathering. I hope and pray that 2021 will be better than 2020.
“But that depends on us Nigerians. If we make the best use of the lessons we learnt in 2020, then we should be able to go through 2021. It will be much easier for us.
“I think that at all level of government, the leadership should be in constant touch or dialogue with the citizenry. This time around calls for leadership by example at local government, state and federal levels.
“I think what we need is the general mobilisation of the citizenry to recognise that the security threat is real. Once they do that they should be able to mobilise the citizenry to face it. It is not anything new. We did this before in 1967 to 1970. The whole population was mobilised to keep the country one. Everybody was involved. I think we should be considering things like this – the general mobilisation of the citizenry against insecurity.”