Except the All Progressives Congress (APC) gives attention to those agitating for secession, the nation may not know peace for a long time, a former national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has said.
Whereas the federal government is clamping down on the agitators, using military might, Odigie-Oyegun proferrred that only political and democratic solutions could end the agitations.
The former Edo State governor made the remark at thenweekend in Abuja during the public presentation of a book, APC’s Litmus Tests, authored by the director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Mohammed Lukman.
While noting that the party at inception was working on a document that would have addressed some of the issues making people to call for secession, he stated that the document passed through all the organs of the party including the the NWC, the Caucus, and the NEC, which is the highest organ of the party.
He noted that: “We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change we should be responsive to it, we should address it. Compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that. The report itself is not final. It still has to go through the litmus test of compromises.
“The ideas of people from different parts of the country will be different up to the extent they want to go with the proposals in the document, but it is necessary. It is vital that it is in fact, mandatory in the interest of the survival of our nation, that these issues be addressed. We cannot continue to allow the subject
to become something that threatens our nation at any turn.
“So, the earlier we address it, the earlier we show that as a party we are responsive to the feelings of the people, the desires of the people and the wants of the people, the earlier it becomes easier then to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today. Look at what is happening. Well, it is recommended there should be State Police.
“Today we are having all sorts of organizations cropping up with all sorts of names. We haven’t defined their operational status, we haven’t defined their relativity properly with the establish security agents and the rest. But sitting down together we can work out so that we know the relativities between the existing structures and the existing institutions. This is by way of saying thank you very much for writing this book.
“I suppose a profound avenue of creating a new structure for the party from bottom up like the one Governor (Bagudu) emphasise, that will deliver and that will create the kind of leadership, the kind of example that will make democracy survive in this country and keep our country one. It is necessary, it is in that book, fundamental that parties themselves must obey their own rules. Very fundamental. You can stretch the rule. Never break it.”