During the event launching Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm: Thoughts on Contemporary National Issues and The Port Harcourt Volunteer. In attendance were eminent personalities including Professor Anya O. Anya.
In his comment, professor Anya, who chaired the occasion, said it was sad that Nigerians are not learning from history, averring that the much-criticized immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was better than that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
His words: “Sam has done an important thing by writing the books. I was privileged to write the foreword of Sam’s previous books. But the unique thing about today is that one of the books we are launching captures his experience during a particular time in our nation’s history.
“Unfortunately, we don’t write books enough and because of this, our nation does not have the opportunity to reflect on what has happened in the past and learn lessons from it. It is out of a people’s experience that you can write history. A nation that cannot learn from history cannot make the kind of progress that we expect.
“Once upon a time, history was a very important subject in the Nigerian education system, it got to a point when history is no longer there. If we don’t learn to stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, we cannot build as an individual, you cannot build as a community and as a nation.
“When you listen to our people, especially the politicians, it is as if we have learned nothing. God has been very kind to this country. It is not easy to see whether there is any common value that Nigerian leaders have which is why today you hear one thing and the next day, you hear the opposite.
We don’t have a nation
“The problem now is that we are now trying to build a nation. We don’t have a nation but whether we like it or not, a nation is going to emerge out of Nigeria. And it is going to be from the contributions of Sam and all of us putting our individual experiences on the table and drawing lessons and teaching the lessons to others.
“When people put down their experiences, it keeps others informed and when you collect them, it gives you an idea of the society’s experience and from there, you can write the history of that nation. A nation without a history cannot learn lessons and build on those lessons, and the nation will be in trouble.
“This is what is happening to Nigeria today. A great nation is built by succession of generation of giants. Each generation of giants stand on the shoulders of past giants and the nation moves forward.
“Unfortunately in Nigeria, we are all in a haste to pronounce opinion and we take opinion as if it is the truth. The past government has been heavily criticized but this past government was not worse than the government before it. In fact, the immediate past government was better than the one before it. Sadly, those criticizing past government are those who were in Obasanjo’s government.”
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