The ongoing ethnic agitations in some parts of the country is a time bomb that could consume the nation, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has warned.
Lukman gave the warning on Sunday in a statement he issued on Nigerian politics and question of national unity.
He stated that Nigeria is experiencing secessionist agitations from two groups from two sections of the country – Nnamdi Kanu’s group in the South-East and Sunday Igboho’s in the South-West, noting that such development portends danger to the unity of the country.
Lukman, who is the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), also noted that the agitations, have assumed the forms of civil disobedience, noting that “With the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, which has dragged for over ten years now and the unfortunate loss of thousands of lives, destructions of both public and private properties, the recent secessionist agitations of Nnamdi Kano and Sunday Igboho require effective and efficient responses to maintain Nigeria as a united country.”
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari, for bringing up the issue of the need for unity among the populace last week, while receiving the report of the National Security Summit of May 26, 2021, organised by the House of Representatives, he urged and sundry to support the present administration to succeed in its bid towards ensuring unity among Nigerians.
He regretted that the rising incidences of banditry in the North-West and North-Central, has produced more cases of kidnappings and abductions of law-abiding citizens, including schoolchildren, which he claimed challenges the survival of the country.
“All these contribute significantly to the tense inter-ethnic relations between and within all the six geo-political regions of Nigeria, thereby responsible for rising cases of ethnic and communal conflicts and violence”, he said.
He warned that as the 2023 general elections approach, issues of unity and overall development of the country should be uppermost among all and sundry.
The politician noted that while it is true that ethnic politics based on regional contests for the leadership of Nigeria will continue, Nigerians should elevate politics to the level of active engagements to influence choices leaders make, “on the one hand, and contract support of citizens for initiatives being taken by leaders, on the other”.