…Bemoans, Nigeria’s failure to contain insurgency
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) yesterday called for restructuring and a return to democratic ethos of the past to put the nation back on the path of cohesion and unity. The group stated this while on a courtesy visit to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national headquarters, Abuja.
In an address entitled, “Need for Politics of Nationalism,” NCEF said time has come for Nigerians to live in peace with one another, noting that several decades after the attainment of political independence from colonial imperialists; the country is drifting away towards intolerance, ill-will and hatred.
Chairman of the forum and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Solomon Asemota lamented the sorry state of affairs in the country, stressing that the nation birthed on 1st October 1960 was a country in which though tribe and tongue differed, the citizens stood in brotherhood.
“We are amazed at the amount of hatred, intolerance, ill-will, discrimination and contention that has engulfed the country. If the situation is not checked, the youths might (sic) be provoked into taking the law into their hands. Already, they are becoming impatient after experiencing unfulfilled promises upon unfulfilled promises by those who are in government while the country keeps stagnating,” Asemota said.
Wondering what has become of the nation’s military strength, NCEF lamented the increasing spate of kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices, urging the political class to do a re-think “in the way politicians handle governance in Nigeria.”
“It is difficult,” they argued, “to understand that a country that could successfully prosecute a civil war, and fought for peace in the ECOWAS sub-region and stabilized West Africa cannot contain insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, ritual killings, militancy and cyber crime. ”
As a way out of the challenges facing the country, the forum called for restructuring and a return to the 1963 Constitution, saying same was abrogated by military in a hurry to assume reins the of governance.
“We recommend immediate government’s response to the yearning of majority of Nigerians for restructuring. As an immediate step, a return to the Republican Constitution of 1963 would be a good starting point,” they added.
Responding, Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi said the party has been a firm advocate of restructuring, stating that it called a world press conference to make the position of the party known to Nigerians few months ago. While thanking the forum for the visit, Makarfi counseled against giving a religious coloration to their demands, noting that doing so would rob their genuine clamour for good governance, the support it deserves.