Aregbesola warns against war, says Nigeria must lead African continent to achieve its manifest destiny
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has urged Nigerians to handle issues capable of threatening communal peace by different ethnic nationalities with utmost caution to safe the country from war.
The governor gave this caution yesterday during the wreath laying ceremony of the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations at the New Military Cenotaph in Osogbo, Osun State.
Aregbesola held that it has become imperative for Nigerians to work assiduously for the peace of the nation by avoiding anything that could lead to war.
According to him, “war is a very bad business. It is costly, deadly and ruinous, even for a supposedly winner.
“It is worse for the loser. Indeed, all are loser in a war. The resources, human and material, used to prosecute wars could have been used for the development of the people. The lesson of history is that nations and people emerged from wars weakened, devastated, poor and vulnerable.
“The worst part is that though a nation’s decision to go to war or not might be easy before the outbreak of hostilities, but it is more difficult and sometimes impossible to decide to stop war, thus we have prolonged and sometimes an indeterminate war. This is the hard part.
“We see the devastations of war in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon (and closer home) in Liberia and Sierra Leone. While some like Liberia and Sierra Leone are fortunate to put the war behind them, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq have found it difficult to stop their own wars.
“Lebanon lost its Paradise and Pearl of the Middle East status to United Arab Emirates. The mutual antagonism and distrust that the Nigerian Civil War bred are still with us”, he added.
The Governor stated that the country was fortunate the first time it went to war, saying Nigeria may not be that lucky again, if war should break out this time.
He posited that through carelessness, thoughtlessness, selfishness, wickedness and hate mongering, the country may unwittingly be pushing itself towards another war.
Aregbesola then defined Nigeria’s mission in Africa as historical on which she must not fail. “In the interest of the black race, Nigeria must not just exist, but it must be strong to be able to lead the continent to achieve its manifest destiny.
“The greatest riches of the continent are domiciled in the Great Lakes Region comprising Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Nigeria should be strong and provide leadership with South Africa and the leaders of the region to be able to develop these riches for the development of the people of the continent and for Africa to be able to take her place in the world.
“Essential to achieving this is peace. If there is no peace, we cannot make any progress. If we should slide into war, we can only regress while the rest of the world will not only leave us behind, the gap between us will become widened and unbridgeable.
“We should therefore use the opportunity of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day to call for peace and avoidance of any act or utterance that might create tension and lead to conflict. The best way to honour the memory of the dead is to prevent wars, in order that their sacrifice will not be in vain”.
He described peace as the foundation for economic production, hence the need for able bodied persons in the country to mobilise for work and as well discourage idleness and the quest for free money, which is no longer available.
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