We must strive to douse tension to remain one country, says Saraki

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Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has described as worrisome the deadly silence of some “key stakeholders and leaders” on the “ugly development” in Oyo and Ondo states over herdsmen’s activities.

He said this in a statement shared on his social media handles on Sunday.

The former Kwara State Governor appealed to political leaders to do everything to ensure the situation does not escalate esclate into full-blown war

Saraki stressed that the great size of the country is meant to be a blessing adding that there are more benefits in peaceful coexistence as a national than disintegration.

Part of the statement read, “I have watched with concern the recent development in Oyo and Ondo States in which quit notices were given to Fulani herders and there were subsequent burning of the property of the Fulani herdsmen in some parts of Oyo State. These happenings have increased the tension and unduly raised the temperature in the country.

“The ugly development in these two states are symptomatic of the continued threat to the unity of our country that we have witnessed on a higher scale in recent times and in different parts of the country, including the South-East and South-South zones.

“The deafening silence by key stakeholders, leaders and others who we think should speak out is worrisome. This silence is a dangerous tell-tale sign that things are wrong. This is not good for our country.

“We must all speak out and talk about the solution to this twin-problem of insecurity and threat to national unity.

“We all do not have another country to call our own other than this one country, Nigeria. We need to live in peace with each other and it is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to preserve the unity of the country.”

He called on the President to provide leadership, warning that politicians against keeping quiet because of their 2023 ambitions.

Saraki said, “The relevance of Nigeria in the international community is due to its size, population, and collective resources. Any attempt at disintegration removes the cloak of importance around Nigeria in the global community. We must all strive to douse the tension and keep our country together.

“I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership. It is important for President Muhammadu Buhari to rally all interests and everybody at the leadership levels to a round table in order to discuss and find appropriate solutions. This is a period that requires all hands to be on deck. This is not the time to talk of APC or PDP.

“The situation is getting worse by the day. Insecurity has become the order of the day and it is fueling disunity and criminal activities.

“Let me also call on all politicians who are looking towards 2023 to take over power to start pondering on what type of Nigeria will they have to administer post-2023 if the current situation continues. It is better for all of us to join hands together NOW to quell the raging fire of disunity, insecurity, and work to mend fences.

“I know some politicians will not be able to contribute ideas if they are not called upon to do so by those who currently have governmental responsibility to do so. However, please don’t keep quiet when called upon. We must all intervene as patriots and forget our personal interest. In the meantime, let all stakeholders speak up on the danger confronting and diminishing our great country.

“The attitude of keeping quiet and ‘sidon look’ while waiting for the next election to start making promises will not help anyone. What type of election or country are we going to have in 2023 if the current situation persists?”

The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party has defended the state Governor Nyesom Wike, for donating N500 million to Sokoto State on behalf of the people of the state.

The money was donated to Sokoto State to assist in rebuilding a market gutted by fire.

The Rivers State PDP Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor made the party’s position on the controversy generated by the donation known in Port Harcourt, on Sunday.

He said, “You are aware that Rivers State and Sokoto state are strategic partners. Of course, you know the story of Rivers and Sokoto right from the period of Okilo, Ramani Aba, we have always related.

“When it comes to politics, wherever you see Rivers State is going, that is where you see Sokoto State will go. Today, he (Wike) has extended a hand of fellowship to traders in Sokoto, where most of them are southerners.

“Somebody somewhere now is saying, why should he do that? How can you please people? In terms of projects he is executing, they said the bridges are too many or the roads are too long, or the roads are too many.

“When some states are complaining that their governors are not performing. Please, I think it is time for us to encourage our own,” Akawor, a former Nigeria’s ambassador to South Korea added.

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