Ebun Francis| Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Sunday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership on the “ugly development” in Oyo and Ondo states over herdsmen’s activities.
Saraki who stated this in a statement via his social media handles, also decried the ‘deafening’ silence of some leaders on the inter-ethnic crisis pitting the Yoruba against Fulani residents in Oyo and Ondo states.
He also appealed to all parties to work for peace and take initiatives that can douse the tension.
“The ugly development in these two states are symptomatic of the continued threat to the unity of our country that we have witnessed on a higher scale in recent times and in different parts of the country, including the South-East and South-South zones,” he said.
“Both the elite and ordinary people have a responsibility to begin to take measures that will reassure the people across the board that a united Nigeria will benefit everybody better than a disintegrated country.”
According to him, the “deafening silence by key stakeholders, leaders and others who we think should speak out is worrisome, and a dangerous tell-tale sign that things are wrong.
“This is not good for our country. We must all speak out and talk about the solution to this twin-problem of insecurity and threat to national unity.”
“In the meantime, let all stakeholders speak up on the danger confronting and diminishing our great country. The attitude of keeping quiet and ‘sidon look’ while waiting for the next election to start making promises will not help anyone.”
Saraki used his own parentage as an example of the need to maintain national unity.
“Let me use my case as an example of why this country should continue to grow as one united and progressive entity. I am of Fulani origin and have a Yoruba mother. My father was a Muslim and my mother is Christian. Thus, I am affected on all sides by any inter-ethnic tension in this country. I am sure there are many Nigerians that are in a similar situation.”
”Also, a united Nigeria is better for the entire world than a disintegrated country. The relevance of Nigeria in the international community is due to its size, population, and collective resources. Any attempt at disintegration removes the cloak of importance around Nigeria in the global community.
“We must all strive to douse the tension and keep our country together. This is definitely not the country we inherited from our forebears and it is not what we intend to pass on to the generation after us.”
“Mr President, take measures that will reassure all and sundry that you are working on the problems and that nobody should lose interest in a united, peaceful, and progressive Nigeria.
“It is important for President Muhammadu Buhari to rally all interests and everybody at the leadership levels to a round table in order to discuss and find appropriate solutions.
“Let me reiterate my earlier suggestion that President Buhari should call all relevant politicians and stakeholders together – former heads of states, retired and serving security chiefs, present and former leaders of various arms of government, traditional rulers with relevant experience, experienced youth with the technological know-how to solve security problems and even international civil servants of Nigerian origin who can help.
“Everybody must be made to contribute ideas on how to save our country from insecurity, disunity, and invasion by criminals.
“Mr President, please, call everybody together and provide the much-needed leadership to solve the problem. This is a period that requires all hands to be on deck. This is not the time to talk of APC or PDP. It is a time for all to work for Nigeria. This is a problem for all and should be solved by all.”
“I want to also make a passionate plea to my brothers, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, both of whom are experienced legislators, to provide the far-reaching legislative intervention that will help the executive arm in the search for peace.
“The situation is getting worse by the day. Insecurity has become the order of the day and it is fueling disunity and criminal activities.
“Let me also call on all politicians who are looking towards 2023 to take over power to start pondering on what type of Nigeria will they have to administer post-2023 if the current situation continues,” Saraki concluded.