The National Youth Council of Nigeria has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency organise a national dialogue to address the issues around current agitations and secession plans in the country.
The NYCN Vice-President for South-West, Dotun Omoleye, in a statement issued in Lagos State, disclosed this, adding that the dialogue should focus on “the growing declarations for disintegration of the Nigerian entity.”
He said, “We view the growing tension across the nation along tribal, ethnic and religious lines as potential threats to the continued peace, mutual coexistence and unity of our nation that there is no other time to demand proportional response to the yearnings and aspirations of all citizens to be addressed at a roundtable than now.
“As the leader of our country, destiny has today placed it in the hand of President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse this ugly trend. So, we passionately appeal to Mr President to immediately create a national platform through which eminent citizens could be brought together to a forum where agitations and grievances could be tabled and addressed once and for all.
“A situation where once friendly, tolerant and accommodating compatriots suddenly began to expand each other’s fault lines is unfortunate, unacceptable and the government must be decisive to deal peacefully to restore order through dialogue.”
The NYCN chief condemned the recent declarations for the breakup of the country and the ejection notices against citizens residing in different parts of the country by non-state actors; saying such utterances contravened the law and must not be allowed to gain tractions.
“There is no doubting the grievances nursed by each ethnic nationality; everyone has its pains and questions but we have gone too far together; we have mingled too well to adopt breaking up as an option. The NYCN views these uproars as reactions to decades of leadership vacuum but we also believe that these cracks are not irredeemable if stakeholders can put the nation at the front burner in charting a fresh page for the nation.
“We therefore strongly align with voices of wisdom, particularly from our traditional rulers and leaders of opinion cautioning against extreme positions, as it is important to seek a melting point through dialogue where our nation could be repositioned through a forum where everyone can give and take,” Omoleye stressed.
He emphasised that recent events had justified the need for the Nigerian government to reconsider its position to restructure the nation for inclusiveness; fairness and development.