By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – In the wake of continued killings and abductions by suspected Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country as well as the attendant statements from past leaders, especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has cautioned against inflammatory statements, saying criminality has no tribe.
While the party said it notes public concerns over cases of violent crimes recorded in some parts of the country, “particularly in the recent and unfortunate killing of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader”, the party said it is disturbed by comments from certain quarters.
“Losing a loved one is never easy to come to terms with, particularly in such unfortunate circumstance. We join the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and all peace-loving Nigerians in extending condolences to the family of the late Funke Olakunrin on the sad and painful loss.
“However, the APC is disturbed by recent reckless and provocative statements ascribed to some leaders and interests in the country”, the APC said in the statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.
Part of the statement reads; “Inciting actions and rhetorics are counterproductive and dangerous particularly in a multi-ethnic country such as ours. Terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other crimes must be condemned by all. There is nothing like an Isoko, Gwari or Awori robber because criminality has no tribe in the eyes of the law.
“We must remind ourselves that many of the recorded genocides all over the world started through unchecked prejudices and systematic profiling of racial, political and cultural groups. God forbid our dear country descends into such savagery.
“We reject the notion of a Nigeria where any ethnic group is unwelcome in any part of the country. Every Nigerian must be free to live and work in safety anywhere in the country.
“Our leaders have an important duty to be temperate in their language and actions. We must be wary of partisan individuals, many of whom formerly occupied elective positions but failed to tackle many of the criminalities we face today. We must be wary of these leaders who now play to the gallery to incite, spread hate and intolerance in the country. Their interventions are not patriotic but in pursuance of their political and selfish interests.
“The APC urges the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the National Assembly, our religious, traditional, political leaders and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians not to be distracted by these unpatriotic antics. We may not agree on some issues in our national life, but we must continue to explore all peaceful and legitimate avenues to tackle our challenges and find amicable common ground to our disputation. Finally, we also call on relevant security agencies to intensify ongoing effort to rid the country of crime, particularly the violent type”, the party added.