By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Against the backdrop of worsening insecurity in the country, a coalition of civil society organizations under the auspices of #JusticeNow Movement has called on former leaders including General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar amongst others, to speak up and demand justice for Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, whose families have been affected by the mindless killings in the land.
This is even as former Anambra state governor, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and erstwhile Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Sarah Jubril on Ethics and Values, called on Nigerians to seek the face of God in prayers to put an end to the mindless killings across the country.
In his opening remarks, Vik-morrow Okon Ulo, international President of #JusticeNow Movement said the group is worried by the silence of influential leaders at a time the country is facing existential threat owing to senseless killings of innocent Nigerians across the country.
“We are calling on General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku Abubakar, Ernest Shonekan, political and traditional rulers to leave the comfort of their zones and join the #endthekillingsnow campaign so that we can truly engage spirited comrades as well as world leaders to seriously intervene with the help of God to end the horrific killings going on in Nigeria,” Mr. Ulo said on behalf of the group.
According to him, the “#Justicenow movement is a viable channel that will bring the efficacy of this solidarity for mankind to the doorstep of all, as it is carefully designed to be a people-to-people and a-face-to tace awareness campaign.
“We are designed to seek justice for the voiceless, defenceless, oppressed, jobless, hungry, powerless, unknown and ordinary Nigerians who are only useful during electioneering years but after which are dumped to face their respective challenges,” he stated.
On his part, Ezeife noted that though the state of affairs in the country was difficult to redeem; a return to God, he noted, is capable of birthing a new nation that would leave every Nigerian proud and satisfied.
“The mess up in Nigeria has reached the point of hopelessness but nothing is impossible for our God to do. I call upon all Nigerians, men and women, the youths to get up and let us all kneel down and pray to the Almighty God to arise, resurrect conscience in Nigeria and unveil a new Nigeria. let not man prevails!
“The country is faced with many challenges: failure of security, failure in every direction. Instead of moving forward with purpose, Nigeria is taking giant steps backwards. The whole world sometimes ago said Nigeria was growing faster than the rest of the world. In fact, they said parts of Nigeria were growing faster than the rest of the world, but today we are shamefully called the poverty capital of the world,” Ezeife lamented.
Decrying the security situation in the land, Mrs. Jubril expresses regret at the flight of conscience on the part of killers who for no good reason whatsoever, snuff lives out of others.
According to ex- Presidential aide, all well-meaning Nigerians must have a reckoning with their conscience, condemn evil and seek justice for the oppressed, saying “let us all examine our conscience in this gathering. Conscience certainly is the courtroom that the Almighty God gave everyone. It is either we decide to kill it or we do our selfish bidding. We need justice, peace and truth and these are supposed to be the values to inspire all of us.”
Paying tribute to Christianity and the Islamic faiths, Jubril described as worrisome the fact that some adherents of the two religions have chosen to embrace evils despite the clear warnings in the holy books.
She continued: “The UN charter mentioned brotherly goodwill and conscience. There are several places in the holy books where the word conscience is mentioned, whether in the Bible or in the Quran. But one thing we must know is that these religions have their own books and we are the ones that will act these out as directed by the Almighty God.
“We have agreed that we are no longer children of apes and we have also agreed that the Almighty God is forever alive. And if the words of God are in these two holy books, the responsibility of raising generations to generations depends on the human beings he has created to nurture them into maturity and to action.”
That said, the former Presidential aspirant took a swipe at British imperialism for deliberately according to ethics little or no mention at the attainment of independence in 1960.
Her words: “I checked in the papers at the independence of Nigeria, but I didn’t see the word ethics. I don’t know why. This must have been a deliberate thing because, for over 200 years, there was a government in the United Kingdom and later in the United States of America. Why is it that when they were giving us independence, they did not emphasize conscience and the responsibility of parents?
“They were busy doing their businesses almost to the point of selling Nigeria off and expecting us to struggle at the point of independence. But one thing we have to know is that taking responsibility is key.”
Warning of the wrath to come, Jubril noted that in the event of getting pushed to the wall, the woman has the power to curse as a last resort, adding that a woman’s words, more often than not, come to pass.
“The procreation, nurturing and the nature of God was expressed in womanhood. Those who are killing our children should realize that when a woman cannot help a situation, she curses and in cursing, there is more calamity to either the killers or the country. So it up to us to decide whether we want the woman to bless or to curse.
“It is sad that we have become victims to bombs, Boko Haram, terrorists and wars. Are we recreating ourselves or destroying ourselves? When a woman is forced to curse, and she says ‘May God punish that person or this person,’ God will answer. We must get women to bless, not to curse,” she added.
From his base in Texas, United States, Dr. Chike Obi in a telephone conversation called for values re-orientation to erect a new foundation for the take-off of a new Nigeria
Arguing that “Nigeria is neither a republic nor a democracy,” the plastic surgeon maintained that “the problem of Nigeria is a systematic one. The foundation is faulty and a house without the right foundation is bound to collapse sooner or later. We of this generation must be realistic and willing to tell ourselves the truth.”
On the way forward, Dr. Chike called on Nigerian leaders to prioritize quality education to avail the youths boundless opportunities for gainful employment.
There were goodwill messages from other eminent Nigerians including former education minister and national chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Professor Tunde Adeniran.