The atmosphere of disunity which appears about to overwhelm the Nigerian polity has become a matter of urgent national importance which must be arrested. The Federal Government must roll out all law enforcement instruments to guarantee the protection of lives and property of Nigerians.
They must quickly overpower agents of ethno-sectional hatred who are bent on taking this nation back to 1966 when a series of pogroms which later degenerated into a civil war claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Nigerians of Eastern (especially Igbo) extraction in the North. Other Nigerians also lost their lives in the 30 – month fratricidal conflict.
Following the upsurge of separatist activities of Biafra agitators chiefly fronted by Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) which successfully called a sit-at-home action on 30th May this year, the Arewa Youths Coalition on 6th June 2017 gathered at the Arewa House in Kaduna and issued the Igbo ethnic group notice to leave the North before 1st October 2017.
Even though this call contained in the Kaduna Declaration was widely condemned, the Arewa Youth groups have remained adamant. Also, the activities of the separatist pro-Biafra groups in the East have continued to gather momentum amid non-bloody confrontations with the Police and security agencies. The pledge by the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to arrest those behind these activities has not been backed with concrete action.
The sabre-rattling has now progressed to a frightening level following the emergence of hate songs in Hausa specifically targeted at the Igbo. As former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar correctly observed, it was the same scenario where a popular musician sang a hate song against Hutus that sparked off the Rwandan genocide. It led to the death of nearly one million people in 1994. We are on the verge of witnessing the Nigerian and Rwandan déjà vu unless frantic efforts are made to nip the disaster in the bud.
We call on all patriotic Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in the comity of nations to mount pressure on the leaders of the Arewa and Igbo groups to rein in their misguided youths before they plunge the country into another bloody cataclysm. We need the hands of political, religious, traditional and opinion leaders on deck to save Nigeria from the brink of disaster.
All it takes is a small spark for a conflagration of gargantuan proportions to ignite, and there is no formula to control the scale of it.
In the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, we call on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to rally the armed forces, Police and security agencies to bring those behind the hate songs and other forms of hate speeches to book with the full weight of the law. This ethnic taunting has become a nasty joke taken too far.
It must be halted in its tracks immediately!