…urges him to dialogue with secessionist agitators
…Calls for re-introduction of History in schools
Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Former Deputy-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 2023 presidential aspirant, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He spoke at a press conference on the state of the nation in Abuja, this afternoon.
” I am, today, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a first step to stabilise Nigeria and begin the Process of national healing and reconciliation” he said.
Pro. Moghalu stressed, “President Muhammadu Buhari should as a matter of urgency establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission comprised of seven independent members of high reputation and relevant expertise, one from each geopolitical zone, and one international member assigned from the United Nations or from South Africa, both entities of which have extensive experience in TRC matters, with a six-month mandate to examine specifically the events of January 1966 to January 1970, invite witnesses, survivors and critical players still alive to make statements, and make findings and recommendations that will promote national reconciliation by turning historical memory into a positive force for mutual forgiveness and nation building.”
Prof. Mughalu who contested the 2019 presidential election also urged President Buhari to invite all secessionist agitation movements to a national dialogue in order to give them a hearing with a view to addressing credible, verifiable grievances.
He said that these steps were needed to stabilise the nation, which appears to be falling apart., “all parts of this country are hurting.
According to him, “While I believe strongly in the viability of a united Nigeria anchored on equity and justice, as a leader, I do not believe in a surface approach to issues. I do not believe in playing the ostrich. I believe in a root-cause approach to solving problems.”
“It is clear, however, that the Federal Government of Nigeria has not adopted a root-cause approach to the agitations for secession in different parts of Nigeria, in particular the Southeast and the Southwest, and the security implications of these agitations.
“The root cause of these separatist agitations is injustice. An unwillingness to recognize this fact leads to avoidance or convenient distortions of history in order to maintain injustice and the transient advantage this state of affairs confers on certain vested interests. Without prejudice to the need to maintain security, law and order, militarization of the civilian space as the exclusive response to essentially political agitations is a failing strategy. It will only build up more grievances.”
The presidential aspirant condemned the violence in the South-East and warned that the burning of INEC offices should not be used as an excuse to stop the 2023 elections.
Answering a question on the possibility of elections in 2023, taking into consideration the on-going attacks on INEC offices, he said, “We should have commitment to democracy. I don’t want the idea of seeking refuge in excuses. We are in the security situation in which we are because of failure of leadership.”
We must confront history
Prof. Moghalu said that Nigerians must restore Modern Nigerian History, as a subject in all Nigerian primary and secondary schools confront history, as a means of confronting history, rather than denying it.
“We must confront the historical hurts that have stoked inter-ethnic tensions in Nigeria. The purpose is not for any part of the country to ‘win the argument’ of its own narrative, but to recognize the deep wounds we have inflicted on each other, to pull back from narratives that drive sectarian hatred, and instead build a new, more hopeful future for our country with a resolve to learn the lessons of history,” he said.
The aspirant also suggested May 30 as a national holiday to remember the millions that died in the Nigerian civil war.
Prof. Moghalu condemned the twitter ban by the federal government, saying that the action was unconstitutional and an infringement of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
He said that he had tweeted, even after the ban, and wondered if anyone would show up at his door to arrest him.