… Uniting A Polarised Nation
THE last general elections had thrown up two lexicons into the country’s political landscape. One is that it has activated the political docility prevalent among the elites and youths as most eligible youths not only registered for the election, but also voted. Cheery as it may seem the election has also brought us to the gate of Kigali.
THE country’s political space is charged. It’s presently divided along both ethnic and religious lines. This couldn’t have been less as most of the major political parties and the their presidential candidates indulged in hate speech and campaigned along religious and ethnic lines.
FORMER Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammed Sanusi, was among those that criticized the trend. He reasoned that Nigeria is currently more divided than it was during the civil war between July 1967 and January 1970. Sanusi who spoke at the Third Nigerian Leadership Colloquium said that Nigeria is divided dangerously along ethnic and religious lines, putting the integrity of public institutions in question. According to him, “I don’t think Nigeria has been in a place as difficult as this since the civil war. We have a challenge of nation building. We have a country that has been divided dangerously along ethnic and religious lines.
THE build up to the election had showed that the country was in for a dangerous trend as major political parties, their candidates and supporters engaged in hate speech, cyber bullying, threats among others. For example, the Igbos viewed that by virtue of the fact that they are being marginalized, the presidential slot was their right and any region taking a shot at it should be deprived. To them, Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party should be given the slot on the platter of Gold. They however failed to realize that other regions should be convinced on the need for their kinsman to occupy the plum office and not to be bullied or embarrassed.
THE emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Party, APC, according to the Ibos was wrong. He should therefore be brought down at all cost. Mr. Obi also did not help the matter as he tagged his campaign religious war.
THERE are fears of domination of the country by one ethnic group. The direct implication of this is that there is heightened suspicion and animosity between the Fulani and other ethnic groups in the country and many more people are retreating into their ethnic tents.
Sadly, it is not just the ethnic inequalities that have been allowed to proliferate under the Buhari government. Favouritism for members of the President’s party has also sown discord, and it is almost certain that there will be no justice for an aggrieved person if the offender is either in the ruling APC or joins the party. For example, in November 2020, not long after he was caught on camera assaulting a shopkeeper, Adamawa senator, Elisha Abbo, joined the APC. He still walks around freely.
MOST political office holders use their offices to direct resources and dividends of democracy towards religious and ethnic inclinations, hence, benefiting some specific zones at the federal, state and local government levels at the expense of others, thereby creating the impression that that is how things should be done. The systematic sidelining of people from the system brings about the agitations we see among various groups. They are not agitating because their person can perform better but for inclusiveness in the system.
AS the president -elect prepares to take over the reins of power of the country, we encourage Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to through words and actions, reconcile the aggrieved sections of the society, especially the youths, who are largely of the opinion that the leadership of the country was not fair to them. He should set up committees to reconcile his camp with his challengers who lost to him in the presidential election, such as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
THE outgoing administration is being criticized for being sectional. This is a path the new administration should avoid. Therefore, the infrastructural development plans of the president-elect should be all inclusive and equally distributed . This will make the people see him as the unifier he has promised to be. It therefore behoves on the president-elect, Bola Tinubu to spread his major works of development across the country and not focus on only the places he won election.
ONE thing that stands out the president- elect is the ability to make broad and all inclusive appointments. This, he exhibited while he was the Governor of Lagos State. Nigerians look up to him to replicate this as the president. This outgoing administration lacks this virtue as it allegedly sees some sections of Nigeria as better than the others in terms of appointments into key positions, including security services. The incoming government should correct this anomaly and make every part of the country have a sense of belonging. Nigerians will feel more secured in their country knowing that their interests are well protected.
THE issue of security of lives and property should be paramount to this administration. Ethnic cleansing as being experienced in Plateau, Benue and Taraba states is not in the best interest of the country. Tinubu should see to insecurity in the country and bring those fomenting problems in the country to face the wrath of the law. Kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling and other criminalities heat up the polity. The time is now to be hard on them.
THE Hope prays the president -elect has the courage to see to the restructuring of Nigeria. If this important and bold step is taken, the problems of the country will be addressed permanently.
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