The immediate past senate president, Bukola Saraki, has called on relevant stakeholders, including all tiers of government to rise to the occasion in coming up with necessary initiatives that can douse the looming ethnic crisis among Fulani and Yoruba in some part of the southwest region of Nigeria.
He indicated that the recent development in Oyo and Ondo states in which quit notices were given to Fulani herders and resultant burning of property belonging to Fulani herdsmen in some parts of Oyo, if not properly and swiftly addressed, would increase tension and unduly raised the disunity temperature in the country.
Aside from his appeal, the former lawmaker also faulted some stakeholders on what he described as their deafening silence on the ugly development, which he argued, were symptomatic of the continued threat to Nigeria’s unity that was witnessed on a higher scale in recent times across the country.
According to him, the elite, including other Nigerians have a responsibility to begin to take measures that will reassure the people across board that a united Nigeria will benefit everybody better than a disintegrated country.
Saraki, who is also a former Kwara State governor, said that rather than wait for election seasons when promises would be made to the electorates, politicians and other stakeholders must rise to the occasion in ensuring normalcy was restored through peaceful dialogue.
“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,” Saraki was quoted as saying in a statement he personally signed and released to newsmen by his media office.
Continuing, he said, “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.
“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? A stitch in time saves nine.,” the statement said.
Furthermore, he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership during such time the country was distressed and take measures that would reassure all and sundry that he was working to restore normalcy and engender the needed peace for the country to thrive.
“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. Let me reiterate my earlier suggestion that President Buhari should call all relevant politicians and stakeholders together – former heads of states, retired and serving security chiefs, present and former leaders of various arms of government, traditional rulers with relevant experience, experienced youth with the technological know-how to solve security problems and even international civil servants of Nigerian origin who can help.
“Everybody must be made to contribute ideas on how to save our country from insecurity, disunity, and invasion by criminals. Mr. President, please, call everybody together and provide the much-needed leadership to solve the problem. This is a period that requires all hands to be on deck. This is not the time to talk of APC or PDP. It is a time for all to work for Nigeria. This is a problem for all and should be solved by all.”
Saraki who is also the Wazirin Ilorin urged the senate president, Ahmed Lawan, and House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, to provide far-reaching legislative intervention that would help the executive arm in the search for peace.