The challenge as we saw in the Nigerian project was to restructure the economy decisively in the direction of a modern free market as an appropriate environment for cultivation of freedom and democracy and the natural emergence of a new social order.
The reason is that till date, in spite of advances in information technology and strategies of information, the written word in the form of books still remains one of humanity's most enduring legacies.
To meet the expectations of the majority of our people, and to open up new vistas of economic opportunity so that the aspirations of Nigerians can stand a fair chance of being fulfilled in a lifetime, there must be a truly committed leadership in a democratic Nigeria.
Debate and divergence of views can only enrich our history and culture.
At the same, we need to remain sensitive to the reality that we are still an African society in which the majority of the people and communities live under severe deprivations and afflictions that are no fault of theirs.
Each one of us, and, indeed, all those who aspire to national leadership must bring their own visions, views and styles to the business of reforming Nigeria, and the search for solutions.
But no nation can base its survival and development on luck and prayers alone while its leadership fritters away every available opportunity for success and concrete achievement.
A society that does not correctly interpret and appreciate its past cannot understand its present fortunes and adversities and can be caught unawares in a fast changing world.
Most importantly, nothing has happened to change my conviction that freedom and the love of liberty remain the essential defining attributes of our national character as a people.
Informed by our sad experience of history, we require nothing short of a foundation for lasting democracy.
The average Nigerian person has come to reconcile himself with the fact that his or her social progress remain essentially in his or her hands in collaboration with other fellow Nigerians and not merely relying on what government alone could provide for him or her.
If you ask me to summarise our mission, I would put it this way: We were a military regime that sought to lay the foundations for freedom and liberty in a complex society.
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