Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has fumed at developments in the country, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent actions for peace.
To stem the growing tension in the polity, Ikpeazu urged the president to visit 109 senatorial zones across the country.
The governor said that Buhari should also hold town hall meetings and talk to Nigerians on the need to live in peace and harmony.
The governor stated this in an interview in Aba, while noting that lots of people were disenchanted with the state of affairs in the country.
He described Nigeria as a country of “smoldering fire where burning charcoals are swept under the carpet and ignored till the inferno” begins to emerge and the country starts fire fighting.
According to Ikpeazu, Nigeria has been suffering from its failure to manage “smoldering fire concealed under the carpet.”
He urged Nigeria to emulate Rwanda which emerged from a bloody genocide, but has achieved national cohesion as the citizens vowed never to allow their country tread the evil path again.
“I have said that Nigeria is a country of smouldering fire. We sweep smouldering charcoal under the carpet and we see smoke and we ignore it. The fire begins to emerge in flames and we start fighting it. Another group of people becomes disenchanted and complain but we still cover the smoldering charcoal under the carpet. We don’t talk.
“If you ask about my foremost recommendation to our national leader, as a response to all the issues, what I will say is that he needs to find energy to visit all the 109 senatorial districts and hold town hall meetings.
“I’m a student of economic growth and advancement and developments in Rwanda. They just made it out of a bloody genocide and yet there is palpable cohesion. The refrain in the mouth of every Rwandan is never again. How did they get to that point?
What is it that they did not do? Can Nigerians say never again?
“The president needs to talk to people and have them take notes. Some of the things people will say may be stupid or wise. People are capable of selective hearing, they will hear what they want to hear and ignore what they don’t want to hear.
“Sometimes, they do analysis and perceive it in the negative perspective. This is why I say that the greatest thing Mr. President needs to do is to talk to Nigerians. Our youths here did not commit any crime in saying that there is injustice in the land. People are not properly treated. Appointments are not as fair as they are supposed to be. People seem to be abandoned. Some herdsmen have invaded our forest and raped women.
“People can’t go to their farms and we can’t cope with it. When somebody begins to raise issues about such things, he needs to know the steps that are being taken. People need to understand that there is a red line if they go beyond a certain level, irrespective of where they come from. When that wasn’t forthcoming, people started reacting. Everybody doesn’t have the same equivalent level of mind stability. All these led to this widespread disenchantment.”
He urged the president not to get weary of talking to the citizenry, stressing that Nigeria is a ‘rainbow country’ with different sentiments, traditions, cultures, beliefs and persuasions which must be handled with love and tolerance.
“Talks, conversation, discussions can help. It is only when intelligent discussion or engagement fails, that you get fracas and brigandage takes place. If a conversation ends in a deadlock, you continue the next day. Choose your words rightly and show commitment. We must be governed the way we want to be governed. You don’t govern us the way you want. Anyone who denies that the federal character law is not an important one in Nigeria is joking. There are more than 30 languages in Adamawa alone. We are a rainbow country, our sentiments, traditions, cultures beliefs and persuasions are different. We need to be sensitive. Telling people that they can’t do anything is unfair.
“In the concept of educational disadvantages, some states have cut-off points of 100; some have 200 and 2 for others. All of us kept quiet because some states are seemingly disadvantaged and need to be accommodated. Nobody has come to say that the cut-off point must be level. This spirit of accommodation is embedded in our constitution through the federal character principle; politicizing the federal character principle won’t work and can only create a milieu that promotes enslavement and tendencies of holding down some people,” he said.
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Obaseki Accepts Deputy Governor Shuaibu’s Apologies
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has accepted the public apologies made by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, noting that as a person of faith, he was under obligation to accept the apologies.
In a letter titled, “Re: Public Apology By The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu,” the governor said in good faith, he trusted that the public apologies as expressed by Shaibu were genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills.
The letter reads: “I have noted the public apology made by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu. This apology followed an aberrant behaviour that contradicts what the people of Edo State stand for.
“To name a few, the Deputy Governor needlessly filed unfounded petitions in the Nigerian courts restraining me, the State House of Assembly and Security agencies from a non-existent impeachment process, followed by repeated breaches of protocol; unwarranted and unprovoked attacks in the media on my person and the State Government. The media frenzy as a result of the above and more, provided an impression of crises that has been precarious and distasteful to Edo people in the State and across the world.
“Although these unwarranted provocations caused me severe personal discomfort, as a person of faith, I am under obligation to accept this apology because as they say, “to err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Obaseki further noted, “In good faith, I trust that the public apology as expressed by the Deputy Governor is genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills. I also enjoin the Deputy Governor to guide his proxies to act in accordance with his piety.”
He added, “It is my sincere hope and that of my other colleagues in government and all well-meaning Edo people, that these rhetorics will be put to an end forthwith to enable this administration finish strong and deliver the dividends of democracy to the greatest number of Edo people over this final twelve (12) months.”
Return Of Amosun’s Loyalists: Abiodun Displayed Exemplary Political Maturity – Group
A youth group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), APC Progressive Front, has commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for what it termed an exemplary attribute of political maturity he displayed over the weekend.
It would be recalled that hundreds of APC members, loyal to ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun, across all the 20 local governments in the State, led by the one-time Chairman of the party, Chief Derin Adebiyi, were on Friday received back to the mainstream of the party by Abiodun, alongside the Chairman of APC in the State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, and other party bigwigs.
In a statement signed on Sunday by its coordinator, Rasheed Sanusi, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the group lauded the leadership capacity displayed by the governor, saying it was unprecedented in the political space of the state
According to the statement, the governor has proved his capacity as a leading figure in progressive politics beyond every reasonable doubt, adding that it is now incumbent on the returnees to reciprocate the gesture and prove their loyalty to the party.
It opined that the action of the governor has given new hope of a better future to the party in the state and an undiluted testament that APC is truly a progressive party with clear-cut ideology based on popular interest.
“Prince Dapo Abiodun has truly proved himself as a leading democrat among his contemporaries. He has achieved what other leaders before him could not achieve; he has indeed redefined progressive politics in Ogun State.
“The Governor has exhibited unprecedented magnanimity in power and in governance. No one could have imagined that a governor of a state would navigate such a level of gang-up and conspiracy within the party to win an election, and after the victory, he decided to reconcile with those who worked against him and warmly received them back to the party.
“The Governor has taught us a big lesson of inclusive governance and purposeful leadership. He deserves an award in progressive leadership. He remains an institution to study,” the statement read.
The statement further noted that the party remains a formidable force in the state with focus on aggressive development of infrastructure and human capital through the ‘Building our future together’ agenda of the governor.
Thousands Dump Amosun, Re-Align With Abiodun
Thousands of loyalists of former governor Ibikunle Amosun from the 20 local government areas of Ogun State have rejoined the mainstream of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Receiving the returnees led by the factional Chairman of the Amosun-led party Executive at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun commended them for their loyalty and being steadfast with what they believed in.
The governor said: “I want to congratulate your sense of loyalty to leadership, which I will say is not only commendable, it is enviable.
“This is a culture that we must promote and entrench. It is a culture that is fast eroding; it is a culture that we are fast losing. Loyalty is 100 per cent.
“For some others, they move once things are not working well, but for you, you stay put. This sense of loyalty is worthy of emulation. We must appreciate the fact that there can only be one leader in a party at a time.
“Even when we have ambitions and desires, we must subordinate ourselves 100% to leadership and believe that it is in that subordination that will allow us to flourish and achieve our objectives, our dreams, our desires and aspirations, not by forming factions or by breaking away.
“Because by so doing, it only weakens the fabric of that collective union that we call our party. You must appreciate that there can be only one leader of the party at a time in the state, and that leader is the governor.
“As the leader of the party, I appreciate the task bestowed on me and it is my duty to work towards individual and collective welfare of our members,” the governor noted.
The governor urged all members to put the past behind them and work towards repositioning the party to achieve its aims and work for the socio-economic development of the state.
“Let us put the past behind us. Let us promote what unites us as a family. I welcome you back. The future of Ogun State is in your hands and it is for us for the taking. The same joy with which the father of the prodigal son received his lost son back home, the same way I receive you today.
“To those who did not leave, please let us receive our brothers and sisters back. To those who are joining us, please let us display a sense of loyalty. I can assure you, you will be fully integrated. ”
The Chairman of the State All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Yemi Sanusi, said in every human relationship, there is bound to be disagreement, adding that even in time of war, there is always a place for peaceful settlement of conflict, calling the returnees to fully integrate themselves with other members of the party.
Leader of the returnees, Chief Derin Adebiyi, said they had all agreed to return to the mainstream to contribute to the development of the party and the state in general, thanking the governor and the party members for receiving them back.
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