Former Minister of Defence, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), said on Saturday in Zaria, Kaduna State, that Nigerian leaders had failed the nation.
He added that the nation was in need of patriotic elders that would use their wisdom to give the country the much needed direction.
According to him, the confused nature of Nigerians is a clear indication of failure on the part of the leaders.
Danjuma also took a swipe on the North, saying that in a highly competitive world, northern children were missing out in qualitative and functional education, adding that poverty had become the lots of northerners.
He urged northern leaders to talk less as according to him, they are “talking too much and doing less for the development of the North. We urgently need to put our house in order so we can overcome our various challenges.”
He added, “This is the time for elders to be circumspect and temperate in their utterances. It is not in our character as northerners to talk too much. We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, relate better, but talk less. Battles are fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncement and political tantrums.
“It is most appropriate and gratifying that I am receiving this honour in Zaria where I spent some of my formative years. Zaria was one of the few northern cities that first opened her gates to pioneer missionaries in Northern Nigeria, which is why Wusasa has become the second home of many northern Christian leaders.
“Zaria has therefore distinguished itself as a beacon of religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence and educational advancement. Nigeria and especially Northern Nigeria urgently need to recapture the spirit of Zaria, the spirit of knowledge, tolerance, harmony, peace and prosperity.
“In spite of the many years of mismanaged opportunities and resources, I still believe that Nigeria can be reawakened and rebuilt to achieve greatness. If we renew our minds and reconcile with one another, if we coordinate our determined efforts, we can make Northern Nigeria self-reliant and self-sufficient, while enhancing the unity and prosperity of all Nigerians. But we must first have peace.”
Danjuma, a former army chief, noted that there could be no peace and harmonious coexistence where there was wide disparity between the rich and the poor.