15th February, 2021
Nigerians have been advised by the Director-General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, to distance themselves from persons spearheading ethnic agitations.
He also challenged political leaders to rise up to their responsibility of providing leadership by promoting national discourse on unity.
Lukman was reacting to last week’s crisis between a Hausa Tomato seller and a kiosk owner in Shasha, Ibadan, Oyo State.
A statement by the DG reads: “While it is important that all law-abiding citizens dissociate themselves from all the campaigns of ethnic hatred going on in the country, we must caution our political leaders to wake up to the responsibility of providing political leadership on a matter that has taken over every political debate.
“As it is today, it is impossible to debate any issue in Nigeria without the attempt to interpret it along ethnic and religious lines.
“We need to appeal to our political leaders to take all the steps required to move our nation forward, away from these politics of ethnic hatred. The only way our children and Nigerians can be maximally and confidently competitive in every sphere in our contemporary knowledge driven world is when events in our country are inspiring citizens beyond the clamour for ethnic hatred.
“Instead of hating each other, can our leaders take steps to begin to push us to love each other? The need to guarantee justice at all times, irrespective of who is affected is about the only route for peaceful co-existence in the country. Once that is compromised, the foundation of our democracy will be eroded.
“The burden facing our political leaders is to begin to take every necessary step to move our people and our nation from all parts of the country towards ensuring fairness in every part of the country.
“The basis of fairness must be such that to love ourselves, we must love others. Once we can’t guarantee fairness, we should delete the word love in our vocabulary. Therefore, we must demand that our political leaders should show love to themselves by ensuring fair conduct of all citizens as a basis for citizens’ love to leaders and the nation.”
Lukman then called on the All Progressives Congress leadership to convene emergency meetings to strengthen the process of engendering sustained peaceful co-existence in the country.