President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday admitted the challenges of the multiplicity of ethnic groups in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of Edo State University, Iyamho, in Etsako West local government area of the state, Buhari said Nigeria made itself a mono-economy by “throwing away everything for petroleum.”
Buhari also declared that multiparty system remained the best option in Nigeria’s democracy considering the diverse population of the country.
“We believe in multi-party democracy system, it is the best for us. In a country of over 450 ethnic groups, it is not easy to come together, only God can do it,” Garba Shehu, his spokesman quoted him to have said.
“We are doing our best because we have found ourselves as part of this great country called Nigeria.”
The president, who concluded a two-day state visit to Edo, encouraged Nigerians to view the current challenges in the country as an opportunity to set the economy firmly on the path of true diversification and sustainable growth.
“We are blessed with human and material resources. We made terrible mistakes in allowing ourselves to become a mono economy and we are now paying dearly for our mistakes,” he said.
“Nigeria made money from cocoa, palm oil, palm kernel, groundnut, hides and skin and others. We threw everything away because of petroleum.
“We have to go back to the land and solid minerals and do a lot of savings so that we can leave a better country for our children.’’
Buhari expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their understanding and faith with the administrations reform programmes.
“This is a time for hard work; this is a time of rebuilding Nigeria,” he said.
“During my campaigns, I emphasised three things, security, economy and fighting corruption. In each of them, we are recording success.”