A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, on Wednesday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership and bring Nigerians together.
He said Nigeria’s unity is threatened by the seemingly intractable farmers-herders clashes.
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Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, stated that the only solution to the crisis is outright banning of open grazing.
In his address, the PDP leader, who said he was speaking not as a politician but a patriotic Nigerian, insisted that open grazing of cows in South West forests, farms and cities is archaic and “deleterious to the economy.”
He said no effort must be spared to return the country to a path of peace.
George said: “This is the time that President Muhammadu Buhari should demonstrate a rallying, unifying leadership to bring all our people together. Surely, this is not the time for ethnic or sectarian jingoism. This is the time for healing.
“This is the time to mend the broken places and rectify the pervasive wrongs. Our people have been living together in peace and harmony for more than 100 years, even before the colonialists imposed the rule of the gunpowder.
“The widening spread of banditry, the reckless shedding of innocent blood, the bitter, murderous clashes between farmers and herdsmen, and the loose brigands have virtually made all corners of our society insecure, vulnerable to the rule of the cudgel and machete.
“Governance everywhere is fast losing its grip on the first principles of protecting lives and properties. From Sokoto to Lagos, from Ebonyi to Borno, from Katsina to Ogun and from the Savanah to the rain forest, lives are daily cut down without the culprits being brought to pay for their crimes. Road users are kidnapped, brutalized, exposed to un-imaginable kinds of cruelty and then forced to pay ransom.”
He, however, said restructuring remained the only solution to the rising insecurity.
“We must restructure the Nigerian entity to ensure its survival as a nation. There are so many aberrations thwarting equitable governance in our country. The centre is too encumbered with many responsibilities. It is overburdened, stressed with unnecessary functions that ought to be devolved to the states.
“Our federation is only a federation in name. It is more of a unitary system, barking out command and control like a military hierarchy,” he added.