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The Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, has called for a national dialogue as a solution to the insecurity and other challenges facing the country.
Shugaba made the call at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
While decrying the damage done by insecurity, the vice-chancellor emphasised that Nigeria needed peace to achieve rapid development.
“I think the best thing for this country is for us to imbibe peace; let us discuss whatever it is that borders us. We should be talking to ourselves not talking about ourselves.
“We should be able to look at ourselves and recognise the fact that we all need each other and through that we should be able to build a nation that we desire,’’ Shugaba said.
He also stressed the need for Nigeria to harness its diversity to develop.
“One American whom I have once worked with came to my university in my own department to conduct research on roots and vegetables.
“He told me that if only Nigeria can put its own ethnic diversity to positive use, we can certainly become a super power.
“But whatever we doing, we have population to our advantage, we have ethnic diversity to our advantage; why don’t we harness all of these and put them to good use rather than coming to each other’s throat.
“We massacre a large number and before you know it we realise that we have done a great deal of damage.
“What has happened in this country in so many areas like Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Jigawa, Taraba is just destruction.
“If you go to the South East, it is the same thing.
“So, I think peace is what we need to forge ahead,’’ he said.
Shugaba, however, appealed to the youths to avoid being used as tools to destabilise the country.
He emphasised the need for youths to engage in meaningful activities critical in positioning them toward contributing meaningfully to nation-building.
According to him, youths should try to be educated, when they go to the university or other institutions they should try to face their studies.
“They should develop themselves so that they can contribute to national development.
“I think that is the basic thing we need in this country, there is a situation of hunger and poverty in some places but if we put our heads together taking advantage of our diversity and population, I think we will be able to achieve a lot.
“All the hunger and poverty will give way.
“So, we have to think creatively; we have to be innovative, we have to be able to engage in critical thinking because good thinking will normally create good products,’’ Shugaba said.
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