*Says Key leaders’ silence worrisome, dangerous
Senator Bukola Saraki, immediate past Senate President has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Ahmed Lawani, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, politicians and other relevant stakeholders to come together and proffer solution to the lingering herders crisis in Oyo and Ondo States in particular.
Saraki, in a release on Sunday, maintained 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. He stressed that everybody must be made to contribute ideas on how to save the country from insecurity, disunity and invasion by criminals.
The former Senate President said: “The president should 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 the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (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 a 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.
Adding, “I have watched with concern the recent development in Oyo and Ondo States in which quit notices were given to Fulani herders and there were subsequent burning of the property of the Fulani herdsmen in some parts of Oyo State. These happenings have increased tension and unduly raised the temperature in the country. 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.”
The PDP chieftain appealed to all Nigerians to work for peace and take initiatives that would douse tension, stressing that the elite and ordinary people have a responsibility to begin to take measures that would reassure the people across board that a united Nigeria would benefit everybody better than a disintegrated country.
Saraki lamented on what he called the deafening silence by key stakeholders, leaders and others who should speak out, pointing out that the silence was a dangerous tell-tale sign that things were wrong.
The Waziri of Ilorin said: “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. I have the conviction that there are many more things that unite us than the few points that cause disagreement among us. 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 a 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.”