By Clifford Ndujihe
As Nigeria celebrates its 60th independence anniversary, a group, the NALT Club International, has urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to end the flickering flames of insecurity, communal clashes, and killings in the country.
In a joint statement by Mr. Okenna Nnamchi, PRO, NALT Club International; and Mr. Nwaeze, Okeoma, PRO, NALT Nigeria, the group lamented that despite government’s vow to remain committed to promoting sound economic management, good governance, fostering economic and social development, things have a turn for the worse.
”While NALT Club International appreciates the laudable initiatives of the government, it is concerned that since independence, Nigeria has struggled with unending violent communal clashes and identity-based conflicts. Although Nigeria has been under democratic governance after years of military rule, internal security challenges continue to be complex, marred with an unstable political climate. Political and social rivalries, religious tensions, farmer/herder clashes, inequitable resource allocation, and increasing poverty levels have incited extreme and on-going violence in Nigeria since the end of military rule in 1999.
”The Nigeria/Biafra War which erupted and sustained itself for nearly three years from 1967-70 as a result of the attempted breakaway from Nigeria by the then three eastern states, remains the biggest threat to the Nigerian project as it continues to linger through various guises including IPOB, MASSOB, and others,” it said.
It continued: ”While Nigeria’s traditional ethnoreligious conflicts have continued, new global challenges such as violent extremism, terrorism, and religious fundamentalism and secessionist agitations, call attention to the hushed growing debate for the restructuring, reconfiguration, and re-composition of the entire systems in Nigeria.
”NALT Club International is convinced that the current spate of insecurity is a manifestation of the deep-rooted and structurally entrenched crisis of development that has created the environment for the emergence of chronic conditions of poverty, unemployment, and inequality in the country.
These, in turn, have led to frustration, alienation, and, ultimately, social discontent that spark violence and insecurity at the slightest provocation. Without the enabling environment, these conditions could not have metamorphosed into the serious national security challenges threatening to tear the country apart as we witness presently.’
”As we celebrate and honour our hero’s past, NALT Club International members of over 10,000 Nigeria graduates across the globe call on all the citizens who express their grievances through acts of violent extremism in form of religious fanaticism, ideological orientation, secessionist bids, among others to embrace peaceful dialogues and joint problem solving as a means of articulating their concerns and ensuring the stability of the state.
”We also call on those involved in all acts of ethnic, chieftaincy, land, communal and other forms of intra-state conflicts to cease fire and bring their concerns to a negotiation table and urge the concerned states and regions to provide an environment that will ensure such arbitrative and mediative actions.”