Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide the leadership Nigeria desperately needs at this time of security crisis and threat to national unity.
In a statement made available to Infactng, the former Senate President said the ugly incidents in Ibarapa Oyo state between Fulani herders and some Yoruba nationalists and the quit notice given to herders in Ondo state have increased tension and unduly raided the temperature in the country.
Saraki said: “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.
“At this point, I strongly appeal to all of us to work for peace and take initiatives that can douse tension. 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.”
He lamented what he called deafening silence from “key stakeholders, leaders and others who we think should speak out,” as worrisome.
He said: “This silence is 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.
“We all do not have another country to call our own other than this one country, Nigeria. We need to live in peace with each other and it is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to preserve the unity of the country. “
Using his own unique experience as an example, he said there are more that unites the country that the few points of disagreement.
” 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,” Saraki said.
He called on the president to provide the leadership the country needs at this time by taking measures that would reassure everyone in a united, peaceful and progressive Nigeria.
Saraki: “I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership. 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.”
He called on both Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to provide legislative intervention saying the situation is becoming worse and insecurity is fueling disunity and criminal activities.
He called on politicians to join hands and quell the raging fire.
“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. It is better for all of us to join hands together NOW to quell the raging fire of disunity, insecurity, and work to mend fences.
“I know some politicians will not be able to contribute ideas if they are not called upon to do so by those who currently have governmental responsibility to do so. However, please don’t keep quiet when called upon. We must all intervene as patriots and forget our personal interests,” Saraki said.