A former member of the Federal House of Representatives Dr Ehiogie West-Idahosa has backed Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai’s call for peaceful and lawful co-existence of citizens within Nigeria.
Idahosa said the call by the governor is a “patriotic call that should have been made much earlier.”
Amid the controversies of the quit notice issued to Fulani Herdsmen in the South West region some days ago, Governor Nasir El-Rufai disclosed that the peaceful co-existence of the country is now a source of concern.
The governor stated that this is because of the video of violence targeted at a particular ethnic group which is now in circulation on social media.
El-Rufai had said: “The government of Kaduna State notes with grave concern, video clips circulating on social media platforms like WhatsApp in which citizens of a particular ethnicity are being massacred and their properties destroyed in parts of Nigeria.
“This is coming amidst avoidable rhetoric, frenzied ethnic profiling and unlawful eviction of citizens from their places of domicile. Many citizens of Kaduna State have reached out to me as their governor to confirm the authenticity of these video clips. Some allege that these incidents have the support of leaders of the places where attacks have occurred.
“While I am unable to confirm the authenticity of the video clips, their impact on the peaceful coexistence of our people is a source of concern.”
El-Rufai then called on all: “Nigerians living in our state to respect law and order and the rights of all citizens to live in peace and security wherever they reside or work. I appeal to my colleagues governing other states in our country to make similar statements and disavow these attacks and massacres.
“We must avoid anarchy and vigorously promote the rule of law and the right of all citizens to life, liberty and livelihoods wherever they choose to reside. Elected and appointed public leaders across the country must act on their constitutional obligations to protect all citizens, uphold order, and contribute to a climate for peaceful resolution of all issues.
“In Kaduna State, we are learning from decades of unfortunate and needless experiences. We have faced the tragic manifestations of the indigene-settler divide. This has been compounded by criminal activities that often have fatal consequences. But the victims of criminal actions like banditry and kidnapping in our state cut across all ethnic and religious groups.
“We have resisted the attempt to tar all members of any ethnic group for the criminal actions of some of their members. At all times, our government has upheld the right of every citizen to live and pursue legitimate livelihoods wherever they choose. This is why we ordered the arrest of persons who issued an unlawful eviction notice to our citizens of a certain ethnicity in 2017.”
But reacting to the governor, Dr Idahosa wrote; “for the descent to self-help now pervasive in many helpless communities, it is doubtful if this call would ever have been made.
“For a man of his intellectual strength and international exposure, the wait was too long indeed. However, it is better to be late than never. The likes of Governor Bala Mohammed and his colleagues must urgently learn from El- Rufai’s realistic appeal for responsible leadership to prevail. It’s time for an end to crass opportunism.
“Those who think that the only way to remain relevant in the Nigerian political turf is to hook on to ethnoreligious sentiments devoid of commonsensical like a distressed coronavirus patient hanging on to oxygen supply must think twice. They must remember the everlasting warning of the extraordinarily talented reggae maestro, Robert Nesta Marley when he said that- ‘when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall on one man’s house’. Similarly, there are some who think that violence is the monopoly of any given group. This is incorrect. It is common knowledge that there is time for everything, including anarchy. May God forbid that we ever get there as a country.
“It’s time to stop the obstinacy of the Government and citizens alike. The rule of law must be allowed to prevail. The Government must ensure the indiscriminate enforcement of national extant laws on protection of lives and properties against defaulters.
“Similarly, the citizens must learn to obey such laws and expose those who flout the laws within their various communities. Our country is sinking further into the abyss of lawlessness. We don’t need incendiaries as political leaders in our country. Down with ethnic and religious champions. A new era is what we desire.
“Thank God for men like Zulum. He twinkles like a star in the sky. Is he not a Nigerian? Why can’t the other political leaders emulate him? Do they forbid the greatest happiness for the majority of our countrymen and women? A few years ago, many would have added El-Rufai to Zulum. Not any more from his recent trajectory, but he looks like a man set to bounce back for the good of all.
“It is not the quantity of men who people the political environment that matters, it is the quality. This is one of the big problems with our national life. Even those who can barely read and understand simple policies of Government bestride the political space like lords of the manor zonked in deep ignorance about how to build an egalitarian society. They plant cassava and expect to reap cocoyam as satirically postulated by the late musical rain maker- Majekodumi Fasheki, popularly known as Majek Fashek.
“Let us all heed the clarion call for a new order in our country and re-echo same loudly. Henceforth, what we want from our Government and people is daybreak. Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”