The Senate also urged the political class to avoid seeking power at all costs just as it reminded them that whatever level they are presently, they can effect change in the lives of Nigerians and not necessarily till they become the president of the country.
Adopting a motion by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma Egba (SAN) and 10 other senators, the upper chamber lamented that Nigeria had retrogressed from being a producing and exporting nation at independence in 1960, to her present status as a consumer nation.
Contributing to the debate, Senate President, David Mark asked rhetorically whether Nigeria still stands in brotherhood as it did at independence.
He remarked that it is the ordinary Nigerians, who deserved to be congratulated for exhibiting so much patience, amid the frustration occasioned by years of mal-administration and mis-governance.
His words: “We are genuinely worried about our country; across political, religious and ethnic boundaries, we’re truly worried because some key aspects of our values and tradition have been lost. In the old national anthem, we said ‘in brotherhood we stand.’
“Do we still stand in brotherhood today? We used to be our brothers’ keepers. Are we still our brothers’ keepers? The answer definitely is no. Instead, we do those things that hurt others now.
“We need to look inwards and begin to search our minds. The ball certainly is in our court as leaders to do what we should do to reverse the trend. We must shelve the attitude of seeking power at all costs. We do not need to get desperate about getting to the top. At any level we are, we must be ready to contribute our quotas.
“We have so much human resources in this country but we are losing them because everybody has gone out of the country to seek greener pastures. We must do something to get them back” he stated.
Earlier, while introducing the motion, Ndoma-Egba said Nigeria deserved to be congratulated for remaining a united country despite the series of challenges that bedevilled her right from her pre-independence days through the civil war period to the long period of military rule.
“Our democracy has moved from episodes to an enduring, unbroken democracy of 14 years,” he said.
In his contribution, Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Solomon Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom) decried a situation where over six million Nigerians have applied for few openings at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Ita Enang, who did not specifically mention the exact figure of available openings in the NIS, lamented the absence of all indices of development in the country, stressing that Nigeria could not be said to be truly independent when the country’s teeming unemployed graduates struggle to fill very limited slots.
“We need to find out the percentage of graduate unemployment. More than six million have already applied for immigration positions for few hundred openings. Let there be employment for our graduates in this country,” he said.