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Insecurity, Killings: Obasanjo Calls For Dialogue

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has called for dialogue and discussions between the Southern and Northern parts of the country in order to tackle the challenges facing Nigeria, especially Insecurity and killings. Obasanjo, who stated this at the Extra Ordinary Summit of Leaders and Elders of Nigeria, organised by a group of leaders from the North and South, with the theme, “State of the Nation: The Rising Spate of Killings Must Stop”, said, “The time has come when we should constantly dialogue among ourselves at different levels to inform, educate and enlighten ourselves and dispel bad influences. A lot of misgivings, misunderstanding, misperception, misrepresentation, erroneous beliefs and outdated ideas and concepts can be cleared and a lot can be achieved.”

The former president, who was represented by Olagunsoye Oyinola further stated that “this ‘Dialogues Amongst Ourselves’, which are starting today, must not be a once-and-for-all affair. We must dialogue often for our collective progress. And l have no doubt that this first one will be a huge success. We are in dialogue because we are concerned for our country. l will hold myself ready to lead the holding and hosting of the next one at our end after due consultation with you and with others.”

“Dialogue removes tensions, clears the air and leads to sharing views and to understanding one another’s point of view. It promotes concord, harmony, cohesion, peace, security, inclusiveness, development and progress. It enthrones justice and equity and removes impunity,” he added.
Also speaking, co-chairman of the event, and leader of the Northern Leaders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi lamented that instead of moving forward as a country, Nigeria has been moving backwards.

He further tasked Nigerians never to allow politicians take advantage of them for their benefit, noting that a united Nigeria will surmount any challenge.
While speaking, the leader of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, John Nwodo lamented the lack of unity among Nigerians and noted that the continued bastardisation of Nigeria’s unity is the bane of its underdevelopment.
Meanwhile, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, while speaking on the summit, said “This Summit is evidence that the nation is successfully revisiting one of its authentic and most valuable assets, which is its stock of elders and leaders. As Africans, we know that our communities are rooted in the wisdom and experiences of elders.
Our history is a patchwork of follies of ignoring this asset, as well as the values of turning to it in the most trying times of need.
“There is no better time than now to pool together our entire stock of elders and experiences of leaders to put at the disposal of those whom destiny and our mandates have made our leaders today. No one needs worry about the taunting of the ill-informed and the mischievous who question the value and credibility of elders and leaders such as those assembled here. It is enough that we know what to do when our communities and our nation are challenged for direction, for vision, for courage or caution.”
He said the summit represents a bridge across all Nigerian communities. “It speaks of a vast foundation of commonness of our challenges as a people, as well as the futility of damaging quarrels over matters we can best solve together,” he added.

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