From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has identified religious and tribal sentiments as factors inhibiting Nigeria from exploiting its abundant potentials to be a great nation.
“The opportunities are here in Nigeria even in the remotest parts of this country,” Masari said on Thursday, adding that, “we should all take responsibility for our failure.”
The Governor spoke when the presidential visitation panel to the Federal College of Education, Katsina, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House.
According to Masari, “having travelled across the length and breath of Nigeria by road, I have seen the diverse nature of Nigeria’s potentials and you ask yourself why are these potentials not being properly harnessed.
“When we sit on dinner tables or at boardroom conferences, we laugh together and behave as if all is well.
“But when we go out, it becomes a different issue altogether and it is probably because we consider our personal interests first instead of the collective interest.
“If you are entering an office, the first thing that comes to your mind is where the person you are going to see comes from or what religion he professes instead of thinking that you are going to meet a Nigerian to discuss the collective interest of the nation.”
“That is our big problem because we have this tribal and religious mentality which engenders tribal suspicion and religious suspicion.
“The Federal College of Education, Katsina, is the oldest institution in Katsina State, established even before creation of the state.
“It is the pioneer of higher education in Katsina State and we will always do everything possible to give the institution our maximum support.”
Chairman of the presidential visitation panel, Prof. Joe Asor, from the University of Calabar, had earlier told the Governor that membership of the panel was drawn from across the six geo-political zones in the country.
He described the panel as one of the several others which the Presidency inaugurated recently to, among other tasks, review the performance of the college in management of funds, general administration and the relationship between management and students.