By Dirisu Yakubu
A group, the National Interest Forum, NIF, has called on the Boko Haram sect, bandits, kidnappers and sundry criminal elements in the country to give peace a chance by embracing dialogue in the interest of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
The group which aims at deepening understanding of the core principles of patriotism and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, said without peace, no amount of investment would attract the necessary development into the country for the use of her people.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Tuesday, Shittu Mohammed Kabir, national chairman of NIF urged Nigerians, particularly the youths to always put the nation first in all their dealings even as he advised them to support the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government’s efforts at repositioning the country for good.
Kabir who noted that government requires some level of public understanding and support to carry out important economic reform policies also harped on the need for citizens to conduct themselves as “a people with common dreams, aspirations and destiny and move us from where we are today to where we ought to be in the years ahead.”
He said: “The forum observes that the inherent socio-economic problems, policy inconsistency and endemic corruption have combined to deprive Nigeria youths the opportunity to realize their potentials and participate fully in the development process which is largely responsible for the current state of insecurity in the country. We called on all groups that have resorted to violence for any perceived injustice or grievances to give peace a chance.
“We re-affirm our hope and commitment to the unity and co-operate existence of the country as one indivisible entity despite the current security challenges and pledges our continuous cooperation and support to both the legislature and the executive arms of government in their bid to stamp out corruption from Nigeria.
“Nigerians are willing to live together as one entity despite recent disintegrating manifestations which has further threatened the fragile unity and the basis for one nation. To keep Nigeria as one indivisible and indissoluble nation should be the duty of all good citizens of this great nation. We believe we are better off as one large diverse and resource-endowed nation.”
On the possibility of a second wave of #EndSARS protest, Kabir described it as a welcome development but urged youths to find alternative ways of making known their grievances to government.
“There is an urgent need for government to look at the grievances pointed out by the youths with a view to addressing them. It is on that note that the National Interest Forum advises that government and other well-meaning Nigerians should prevail on the youths to get involved in governance particularly at the grassroots level.
“We believe that all local government areas in Nigeria have one resources or the other. There must be a deliberate policy now in other to address these agitations because what brought about the #EndSARS tension was the lack of employment opportunities in the country. A deliberate policy to address unemployment must be formulated and implemented to address this.