…Stakeholders seek peaceful coexistence among Nigerians
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-TWO weeks after a coalition of Northern youth gave a three months notice to Igbo residing in the North to leave the region and attendant reaction from the Niger Delta youths for northerners to also leave their region within three months, thus necessitating a call for their arrest, the Police Tuesday, said they were yet to effect arrest of persons in connection with the threats.
Recall that shortly after the action of the Northern group, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir to el-Rufai, who was peeved by the development, had ordered the security agencies not only to immediately arrest but also prosecute all those behind the declaration.
Force Public Relations Office, Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, who spoke in Abuja, during interview with newsmen, insisted that so far, no arrest had been made following the governor’s order.
He, however, said the police was working very hard to ensure that they maintain law and order not only across the 19 northern states but also all other states of the federation.
Moshood noted that the Inspector General of Police has directed all commissioners of police in the northern states and across the federation to beef up security to ensure that they did not allow the threat to be actualised.
“I cannot stand here and be able to tell you whether there have been any arrest yet. So, I will not be able to get you updates now until when I get across to Kaduna to know the development today,” he said
Meanwhile, stakeholders at a two-day capacity building on conflict prevention have called on Nigerians from different ethnic backgrounds to eschew peace amongst themselves.
The programme organised by a non-governmental organisation, Journalist for Democratic Rights, JODER, with support from FORD Foundation, West Africa Region in Abuja, yesterday was to sensitize and mobilize stakeholders by initiating sustainable peace building mechanism for harmonious peaceful coexistence in communities and across the regions.
In his welcome address with the theme “Promoting Peace, Democracy and Stability in Nigeria through the Media, Socio-Cultural Institutions and Youth Driven Community Based Groups, Executive Director of JODER, Adewale Adeoye said there is the need to promote peace, democracy and stability in the country by advocating the need to forestall negative consequences of conflicts across the country.
Adeoye said since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999, elections have been held without military interference, noting that poverty and pervasive deprivation which pose enormous threats to sustainable livelihoods of the immediate families and social security in the communities have become a menace that breeds anger, desperation, violence and bloodletting.
According to him, over 10,000 people have died in the bid to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the distressed search for survival where the homefront have become too hot to dwell in, stressing that corruption have become the other of the day where millions of public funds end in private pockets and most of the institutions have come under severe threats due to corruption.
He said: “This unfortunate situation has manifested in varying unmitigated social conflicts as well as communal clashes. Today, Nigerians are daily confronted with negative consequences of fragility and insecurity; manifesting in terrorism in the North-East as well as frequent communal clashes across the country.
“We have to champion the peace building mechanism for the sake of our children and generations unborn. We may not be in a position to stop all the sources of killings and violence, but at least we can influence the peace process and take individual and collective decisions to promote peace, understanding and mutual trust in our various communities for the happiness of our society and for the utilitarian value of mankind.”
Special Adviser on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu said the problem with Nigeria has to do with elite competition where each of the ethnic groups wants his or her tribe to be represented, adding that for Nigeria to move forward this issue of elite competition must be tackled so as to solve the lingering crisis and agitation by the people.