‘2014 confab enough to solve national problems’
Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has called on the Federal Government to consider implementing the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, as part of the solutions to the drum beat of war and eviction order by the Arewa youths to all Igbos in the northern region of the country.
He also urged all elder statesmen who participated in one way or the other in the Nigeria Civil War, either as military officers or civilians that were parts of the negotiations during and after, to speak out now on the dangerous trends of war enveloping the country.
While addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, George said he did not speak as a politician, a PDP man, a Lagosian, a Yorubaman but as a Nigerian and as a patriot.
While he expressed concern that there is a certain disturbing divisive temper across Nigeria today, he said, “Everywhere, there is an unfortunate passion of ethnic fixity. From the North to the South, there is that befuddled and reckless upsurge of ill-conceived provocations towards the abyss.
“The Federal Government’s ongoing consultations with relevant institutions and sections of the country on the Arewa youths eviction notice to the Igbos is good but there should be a step further to encourage the chastening voices of former Head of States like, General Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahinm Babangida and Abubakar Abudsalam, who participated in the civil war as soldiers to speak up and advised on the consequences.”
George also extended his call to the likes of former army generals, Theophilus Danjuma, Alani Akinrinade, Alabi Isama, IMB Haruna, former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Gov. Achike Udenwa, Col. Iheanacho, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and others not to sit back and watch the unfortunate development escalate.
According to him, “Their voices would go a long way in tempering the flight of fancy of the intemperate agitators who have never heard a gunshot in anger. From every nook and cranny, some people are hurrying and stampeding everyone else to a disruptive agitation.
“From the Biafran young crusaders to the young Arewa reactive promoters of disunion and the Yoruba presumptive withdrawal into a fanciful Oduduwa Republic, they are all wrong. We are all living in unpleasant economic season.
“We must all step away from the abyss. We must all sheathe our swords. Enough of this unrealistic war clamour. Enough of these provocations of national destabilization.”
The former Military Administrator of old Ondo State, said the reason the 2014 conference report is needful now “is because every thing that is necessary to make the Nigerian union work in peace have been deliberated on in the conference and unanimously put into vote and agreed upon. It is true there is indeed no perfect union. A nation is always a work in perpetual rebuilding and reformation. A nation is never a finished product. There are always rough edges. There are always areas of rectifications and amendments. But the ills of a society are not to be cured on the fields of war or the muddled recourse to the wielding of the cudgel.”
He warned that the last civil war, which provoked millions of deaths and incalculable destruction both in physical and in the moral psyche of the survivors, must never be repeated again.
He noted it is time Nigerians remove their ethnic toga saying, “it is about time we remove our tribal fixation. I will never even support any supposed alliance of some tribal groups against another. Never! I stand for one, indivisible nation! Our primary advantage should reside first in our Nigerian identity instead of the recourse to provincial tribalism.”
He added that the current consultation that the government has embarked upon across the tribal divide is laudable and exemplary “but they should do more. They should widen the consultation efforts by inviting the formidable elders and statesmen who were active participants, and managers of our nation during the dark drama of our civil war. “The experiences of these statesmen and builders of our nation should be more than enough to caution those who are presently preaching politics of division.”
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