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REFLECTIONS ….NIGERIA — FIFTY ONE YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE — Going Back to Basics: The Past as Prologue – By: Mallam Adamu Fika, CFR; Wazirin Fika

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As part of our menu for Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary celebrations, TERRIFIC HEADLINES serves you a very interesting piece that is a MUST READ for top political functionaries and public servants. It is particularly useful at this period of discourse of the way forward for Nigeria at this critical point in history.  The speech was delivered by Mallam Adamu Fika, a former Secretary to the Federal Government/Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who combined experiences acquired in his meritorious career, serving both civilian and military administrations. We will be publishing His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari’s independence day speech after delivery later today this morning.  Happy reading. Introduction It gives me great pleasure to speak to you this afternoon at this year’s Barewa Old Boys Association Annual Lecture and Lunch. Let me begin by thanking the organizers for inviting me to speak on this very important occasion, and giving me the freedom to choose my topic. The theme of my speech today is based on an observation made by Chief S.O. Adebo on the value of learning from our past and respecting our past leaders. He observed that:  “From my experience of public affairs and my recent dealings with government officials, there is a high level of ignorance of seemingly educated men about past events in this country. On any major issue many public officers behave as if there had never been a past and that we must copy new fangled ideas and procedures which are then labeled as progressive reforms. This applies to virtually every aspect or facet of our national life and activity. Needless to say that anything that is new becomes old in the course of time, and if we get into this tendentious habit of disowning not only our past but also our past leadership, we would end nowhere. Let us learn from them, without forgetting what they did for this country”. A large part of the problem confronting Nigeria in general and the public service, in particular, today is the result of an unpardonable ignorance of the past and an unjustified and unwarranted aversion to all the lessons and benefits the past has to offer. We often live and work under the illusion that only what is new is good, forgetting that it is in the nature of whatever is new to itself ultimately run out of fashion one day. What is new today…

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