By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Ahead of the 2019 general elections, some elder statesmen have called on Nigerians especially partisans to avoid falling into the temptation of trying to break up the country.
Speaking at a symposium and book launch on Nigeria’s third Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Dikko Yusufu, the elders said in spite of what is happening in the country, Nigerians must see themselves as one.
Those who spoke included the pioneer Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency NIA and also the State Security Services SSS, Chief Albert Horsefall, a First Republic Federal Permanent Secretary, Ahmed Joda and a former Inspector General of Police, Aliyu Attah and Chief Ayo Opadokun.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must put our efforts together to make it great. Let me once again appeal to Nigerians that in spite of the politics and politicking going on, we must regard ourselves as one and we must not do anything to break this country”, Horse fall counselled.
Speaking on his relationship with the late IGP, Horsefall described MD Yusufu as one of the mist detribalized Nigerian saying he stood up to bad leaders whenever the need arose.
Joda who was chairman of the occasion said ” it was a tragedy to stop history in our schools. I hope that will not repeat itself “, adding that the present generation have a lot to learn from late icons like Yusufu whose mantra was humanity first and not ethnic or tribal affiliations.
Attah on his part recalled the marital relationship that exists between his family and the Yusufus and added that the ex-police chief was one spy officer that discharged his mandate creditably when he headed the intelligence bureau.
“When MD Yusufu was there with us in Kaduna as the head of the special branch, there was nothing that happened that he didn’t know. In fact, it took him long to be able to convince the Sardauna that there was going to be a coup. How I wish we can continue in that tradition. That department is lacking today”, he added.
Also speaking, a chieftain of the pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Opadokun regretted the dearth of men like Yusufu and expressed concerns as to whether Nigeria could ever rise above its present challenges without men that can speak truth to power.