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Nigeria urgently needs genuine change, eminent citizens insist

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Femi Falana


A group of eminent Nigerians, New Fabian Society of the Concerned Professionals, has called on religious, traditional and leaders of thought nationwide to partner for genuine change.

In a release titled, ‘Time to raise the white flag’, signed by Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Anthony Kila, Femi Falana (SAN), Tola Mobolurin, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Dr. Usman Bugaje, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), Dr. Isawa Dogo, Joe Atueyi and Bisi Olowoyo, the body backed Prof. Wole Soyinka’s advocacy for external assistance to prevent Nigeria from getting on a “one chance transport on the road to Somalia.”

The statement continued: “Our country is crippled. Our compatriots are being slaughtered like chickens all over the country. Insecurity has become the most interrogated phenomenon of our time and the result is clear for all to see. With our reality as a true existential threat, we must move from emotional rationalisations of our past behaviour to recognising that we have created our troubles.

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“Talk may not be cheap as often suggested but now is a time for action. None can afford to look on like bystanders. We, therefore, call on leaders of thought across the land, traditional leaders, religious icons and elders of the nation in groups of past leaders to rise in one accord to demand change right now.

“We should raise the white flag of surrender, not to the forces of evil that threaten our way of life, but to humble pie. We must tell the world that we need help. We must shout from the rooftops to the world that they need to come to our aid now or risk the cost of coming late as they did in Rwanda and lose more lives trying to flush out the undesirable in the interest of human solidarity in this our interconnected world, belatedly as was the case in Iraq.

“Beyond pleading for help, we have some home truths to admit to ourselves and some serious conversations to engage with on a way forward. Have we reached the point where the legislature can turn to the idea of a Doctrine of Necessity to create new leaders and refocus the agenda of the country? Yes we have. Perhaps we should invoke that doctrine to introduce a government of national unity”.

“They say we cannot afford a civil war, but Nigeria is at war already. A government of national unity, just like General Yakubu Gowon put together in 1967, in the wake of the last civil war, will provide a war chest of wisdom that can lead us to a new Nigeria.”

SIMILARLY, the senator representing Taraba South in the National Assembly, Emmanuel Bwacha, yesterday, raised the alarm that the most populous black nation was “fast sliding (in) to anarchy.”

He spoke during an interactive session with reporters in Jalingo, the state capital. Stating that the best way of rescuing the country was through “prayers”, the Deputy Minority Leader regretted the insecurity in the land.

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Wondering how Nigeria got to this pitiable state, he urged leaders across sectors to be alive to their duties, submitting: “The primary responsibility of every leader and government is to protect life and property.”

He added: “I support the call for a state of emergency on security to enable the country survive. It is only when life and property are protected that you can enjoy nature.”

BESIDES, a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has charged the Federal Government on an urgent national dialogue to address poverty, youth unemployment and shallow education with a view to saving Nigeria from “imminent collapse.”

The CSOs believed that if government could address those structural issues through discourse, it would reduce the population of young people being used by religious and political leaders to foment troubles across the federation.

During the National Cohesion and Tolerance Dinner organised by Connected Development (CODE), the organisations noted that government had a major role to play in creating a safer environment for the conversation that could heal past wounds.

The Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (CEED), Ewah Eleri, in his remarks, acknowledged the disturbing situation in the country.

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