Prominent Nigerians have said that the Christmas Day’s bomb blast in Madala, which claimed several lives, calls for a national emergency.
Prof. Pat Utomi, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) in the April elections, said that the blast represented a breaking point for the nation’s patience.
Utomi told NAN that “the Christmas bomb-blast is a great tragedy, coming on a day that represents peace on earth as Christians celebrate the birth of Christ.
“This latest development calls for a national emergency and the need for a summit to enable Nigerians to decide on where the nation is going,’’ he said.
Utomi said that where the nation was heading towards should no longer be the concern of security officials alone.
“It is obvious that these security officials seem not to understand what is going on and how to handle it. Nigerians must sit to discuss the way forward; ignoring this would spell greater disaster for the nation,’’ he said.
In his reaction, Chief Maxi Okwu, the Coordinator of the Patriotic Alliance of Nigeria (PAN), a group of opposition political parties, said: “Government and security agencies across the nation seem to be losing the war against terrorism.
“Government must change its tactics by doing more of counter terrorism, intelligence gathering and infiltration.’’
Okwu also stressed the urgent need for Nigerians to sit down and talk about the state of the nation before the carnage ripping though the country became impossible to handle.
“Nigeria must go back to the original agreement on federalism, which has been abandoned. The Federal Government must coordinate and fine-tune the basic agreement,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Dr Frederick Faseun, the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), described the Madala bombing as sad and unfortunate, stressing that “enough attention has yet to be paid to tackling terrorism in Nigeria.”
He bemoaned the continued loss of people’s lives across the country to terrorism, insisting that the only pragmatic way out of the crisis situation was the convening of a national summit.
“No doubt, this is a sad situation and the Federal Government must tackle the situation as a national emergency,’’ he said.
Alhaji Yerrima Shettima, the President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), who also condemned the attack, stressed that it was a clear indication that violence was fast becoming a feature of the national life.
He stressed that there was still hope for Nigeria, if the government could listen to the voice of reason and facilitate the convening a sovereign national conference.
Shettima, nonetheless, said that the masterminds of the Christmas bomb-blast could be those who were planning to incite a religious crisis in the country.
“I refuse to see the blast as an act of terrorism. It is politically motivated and probably made to coincide with the situation on the ground,’’ he said.
The youth leader said that the masterminds of the bombing would face the wrath of Allah, even if they were not caught, as “no one has the right to take another person’s life.” (NAN)