Former Senate President, Abubakar Saraki, on Sunday decried the silence of some “stakeholders and leaders” on the ongoing crises generated by activities of herdsmen in the country.
He warned politicians against keeping quiet on the nation’s problems because of their 2023 ambitions.
Saraki, who made the call on his Twitter handle, urged all stakeholders to speak up on the “dangers confronting and diminishing the country.”
He also challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership by rallying all interests to a round table in order to discuss and find appropriate solutions to the crises
The ex-Senate president stressed that it was important for the president to take measures that would reassure Nigerians that he was working on the problems and inspire hope in a united, peaceful, and progressive Nigeria.
The Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had last week ordered the Fulani herdsmen to vacate the state’s forest reserves within seven days.
But the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had insisted that the governor lacks the power to send the herdsmen packing from the state.
And on Friday, two persons were killed and several properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed in violence after a grassroots politician, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, led a group of Yoruba youths to Igangan, Ibarapa North local government area of Oyo State to eject the head of Fulani settlement in the town, Salihu Abdukadir, and some other herdsmen.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had since ordered Igboho’s arrest over the incident.
Saraki said: “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 developments 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.
“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.”
Saraki was Nigeria’s 13th Senate president and chaired the National Assembly from 2015 to 2019.
He returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general election and lost in his bid to return to the upper legislative chamber after he was defeated in his Senatorial Constituency in Kwara State.
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