…Says Calls For Separation, A Collective National Suicide
From: Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
The former Speaker, House of Representatives,Hon. Yakubu Dogara has raised the alarm that Nugeria is tottering on the precipice with the unending killings, violence and other criminalities across the country.
He declared that unless Nigerians rose up at different levels of leadership to halt the present situation, the ship of state would soon hit the rocks and head for final implosion and eventual extinction.
Dogara, Speaker of the 8th Assembly who made the calls yesterday in a Keynote address delivered on the theme : Peace And Development In Nigeria: The Pragmatic Approach,at a two- day Peace and Development Summit, organized by Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace and Development Studies, University of Abuja, also warned that the calls for separation of Nigreria is tantamount to a collective national suicide.
The former Speaker who is presently representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency said “
Today, Nigeria is faced with unprecedented crisis so much so that nothing in our history prepares us for such a time as this. We seem to have accepted killings and mass murder as our new normal and so many cold blooded murder of our brothers and sisters do no longer make the headlines in the media”.
According to him, “As students, lecturers and political leaders, some of us are complicit while the few who have dared to speak up are already outrage – fatigued and have surrendered to fatalism- a feeling that nothing matters anymore. It is like Nigeria seems to be suffering from some kind of God ordained ineluctable fate. What we have done before doesn’t matter”.
“I have made the point before that Nigeria cannot survive if our peoples merely tolerate each other. Our happiness cannot be the other groups’ unhappiness. Our strength is not and will never be in our numbers but in our unity. When we are United, we ll be strong and when we strive to keep our bond and remain undivided, we will be invincible. This is what should concern every patriotic Nigerian at the moment not schemings for future elections”.
“All efforts of patriotic citizens must be geared towards stopping our dear country from the ongoing death by a thousand cuts. Like I said earlier, our most immediate problem is the dangerous drift of Nigeria into chaos and anarchy.
“Apart from the rabid insecurity plaguing the nation, there are real or imagined charges of ethnic cleansing and domination of some sections by a certain section. Attacks are unrelenting and there appears to be no end in sight. The situation has clearly gotten out of hand, following the repeated overrun of military formations by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, wanton killings and kidnap for ransom and mass abduction of school children in different parts of the Country”.
He said that “There is no hiding place for us any more because Nigeria is no longer the same. Structural injustices, Mass illiteracy, mass poverty, mass unemployment and under- employment have all combined to pull out those we had pushed to the fringes of society to our streets and villages with heavy tolls on Nigerian lives and devastations at all levels. We now have a small percentage of highly educated Nigerian youths who are prepared to question everything including questioning the questions themselves”.
He added that “The ongoing war must be understood as a battle between the Oppressed Nigeria and the Oppressor Nigeria. We succeeded in the past in decapitating oppressed Nigeria partly because they were largely illiterates and religion was used to keep them in check. Now we have seen that the frustration we fed them has reached a tipping point, the illiterates won’t take it anymore much less the educated youths who have freed themselves from fictional constraints and are asking questions like never before.
The former Speaker lamented that “many are calling for the disintegration of Nigeria; saying that Nigeria cannot work. Unfortunately, they are emboldened by what they see but the real threats are buried in what they have failed to see. For instance, it is doubtful that if Nigeria were to break into pieces, the process will be peaceful. If a disintegration war breaks out now, the Western World had long predicted this and developed tools to secure their interest which is ensuring that the war does not distort their markets”.
He then warned that “unless we rise at different levels of leadership to halt the present trajectory, Nigeria will no doubt head for final implosion and eventual extinction”.
“As is it, we don’t have to do anything for this to happen. All we need is not to do anything at all. Our hope must be rooted in the story of China, Rwanda, UAE, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, etc, which all prove the point that we can turn our ashes into glory and that nothing is impossible. If we don’t give in or give up, something must give in”.
Dogara pointed out that”The stories of those countries are a validation of the saying that every problem comes with its own solution but it takes only those looking for the solution to find it. No doubt, it will take leadership for us to replicate those stories”.
The Speaker then advised that “We must start doing something and speaking up. They may not listen to us but just because they won’t listen to us is no enough reason to quit. We cannot continue to remain mum and aloof and hope that somehow, someday, these radical events and voices will miraculously quieten and not grow louder. Our silence is no longer golden”.
He stressed that “Every generation in history have had its moment to fight. This is our own moment. This is our Pharaoh and our Red Sea. The odds are stacked against us but we are born and raised for such a time as this. It is our time. Let us stop crying and go to work. We may lose some privileges but we will win history: for fortune itself favours only the brave”.