Oladipo Diya, a former de facto Vice President of Nigeria under military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, on Friday, warned Nigerian politicians to stop toying with security matters in the country on the altar of politicking.
Diya, who handed them this warning in his 77th birthday message, was born in 1944 and served from 1994 until his arrest for treason in 1997.
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He also expressed concerns over recent crises ravaging the country, saying it is high time the government solved the perennial problems of banditry, farmer-herder crisis and all forms of terrorism in the land.
The former Nigerian leader said, “The political class must play by the rules and observe the thin line that separates politics from governance.
“Security matters should not be toyed with on the alter of politicking.
“Hate speech, fake news, as well as inciting ethnic-religious acts should be completely eradicated.
“I have fought many wars in my life. I have been out there all my life. I know the feel, the smell, the agony and the long time implications of wars.
“After a war, there must still be a dialogue, so it is better to dialogue and talk our way out of the problems.”
Diya advised politicians to always pursue peace among the Nigerian populace rather than aggravating already tensed society, noting that pointing of accusing fingers to one another should stop henceforth.
He said, “As a people, we should not allow these free gifts of nature to turn us against one another.
“I agree that there has always been one misunderstanding or the other, for a long time, but what we are witnessing in recent past is alarming. It is taking a dangerous turn.
“The signs are ominous. We seem to have forgotten that, fundamentally, we are brothers and sisters from one source, in one nation with a common destiny. Let us pursue peace and eschew violence at all costs, by all means.
“Many actors have made their positions known. A lot more have pointed accusing fingers. We have turned the table and changed the narratives, just to suit our positions. One thing is certain, we cannot continue like this. Enough is enough!
“Let us cease the practice of name-calling. There is no part of the nation that does not have its inherent security challenges. Hence, the first solution is to look inwards. Let us do a soul searching.”