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PGF canvasses emergency summit on peaceful coexistence

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Salihu Lukman

Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has enjoined leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to convoke emergency meetings to strengthen peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

In a statement titled “Cries for Justice: Sasha and the Burden of Political Leadership”, Lukman noted that the level of intolerance of one another among Nigerians on account of ethnic background is rising by the day.

He accused ruling elite of not doing enough to curtail what he called ugly trend of tagging members of some ethnic groups as criminals, purely to score political goals.

“As we move towards 2023, this is going to be a serious problem. It is important that our parties are able to consider new approaches that should challenge our political leaders to become champions of peaceful co-existence.

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“With all the attacks on APC, it has the best potential of coming up with initiatives that can push political leaders to work for peaceful co-existence in the country.

“This should mean that, if in the past our politics overlooks situations whereby political leaders recklessly engage in politics of ethnic hatred, why should a party of change not take steps to sanction leaders who promote it now? Part of the advantage APC has at the moment over other parties is that we are in the process of reconstituting our leadership at all levels.

“The party should consider taking all necessary steps to ensure that ethnic bullies and warlords are disqualified from emerging as leaders at all levels. Or put differently, only candidates with proven commitment to our peaceful existence as a nation will be qualified to hold party positions at all levels,” the DG said.

According to Lukman, “The disappointing reality is that this may not happen if meetings are not taking place. There is no way any party or any group can come up with the kind of required response without meetings. Through meetings, positions of all groups and sections of the country can be considered. We must, therefore, appeal to our leaders to prioritise holding meetings and ensure that when they are gathered, honest and open debates take place.”

“Without debating and taking all the necessary steps to produce leaders in our parties who are committed to unity of the country, it is almost predictable that candidates for elections would largely be ethnic bullies and warlords. Once candidates are ethnic bullies and warlords, political competition will continue to be characterised by violence,” Lukman said.

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