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On provocative statements by ex-leaders


SIR: It is significant that in every human or national struggle, there is always an ‘Interest’ to protect. In the case of a nation, if the interest is not of national benefit, the end result may spell doom for the country if unchecked.
In this vein, one issue that has dominated the political scene of Nigeria since 2011 (post-election) is that of ‘unguarded’ and provocative statements by our ex-leaders and elder statesmen. There is no doubt that these statements are contributory factors of insecurity currently being experienced in Nigeria.
In my pondering over possible reasons behind these unguarded statements, the possibility of lack of understanding of few major facts surfaced; that there is obvious lack of understanding of democracy as an institution, a process that brings diverse people together with end result of sustainable development.
Second, there is also lack of understanding of the fact that since the inception of the 20th and 21st centuries, the world has not only been characterised with its scientific and technological ground breaking achievements but also with global violence thereby making the entire world highly hostile with conflicts of various nature and degrees which in most cases lead to violation of rights, increasing infectious diseases, environmental hazards and insecurity in the nation.

We all, including myself, have directly or indirectly been part of this economic setback.
A flashback of utterances since 2011 till date shows that some of our leaders have completely forgotten that words can build or destroy the security and the economy of a nation.
Indeed, their inciting statements draw the attention of patriotic Nigerians to questions like: Why are majority of our former leaders not resource persons, especially in times of uncertainty?  Is Nigeria a country where former leaders suddenly become accidental activists?
Is Nigeria, a country where treasonable statements have become political campaign statements? Is Nigeria a nation where serving leaders never identify the ills, corrupt or dilapidated state or structure of the offices/institutions while in service, and truthfully, address them for benefit of the citizenry and development of the country but sing false ‘songs of praises’ while in office in favour of the administration?
One truth is that such utterances are threat to our national unity and security and you (ex-leaders) cannot also deny the fact that the prevailing terrorism, poverty, unemployment are results of your inability to decisively tackle contending issues, embark on major development strategies, your undefined and unexecuted genuine political and economic will, your lack of promotion of effective and efficient grassroots development strategies, lack of structural transformation of the sectors and all other priority policies that enhance high productivity and growth.
Therefore, with profound respect to you all, please desist from the use of provocative statements; rather let your words be uniting factors, possess unequivocal strength, courage and power to rebuild and restore Nigeria for peaceful co-existence, not bloodshed. We do not need any form of conflict let alone war, which leaves nothing but negative impact of devastation on infrastructure, human capital and the entire economy.
This is not a time to build walls of blame around any person or group, it is the best of time for all patriotic Nigerians and friends irrespective of affiliations to genuinely and peacefully join hands together to build a Nigeria that could guarantee the security of lives and properties all time.
• Uchenna Okorie,
Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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