Our collective national aspiration for a political process that will lead to schedule elections in 2023 has come under a very serious and compelling threat due to the prevalence of some three major troubling issues within our polity which include increasing and widespread national insecurity, growing popular demands and sustained agitations for self rule, and pervasive and palpable intra ethnic hatred.
The above factors have attained very significant and commanding stature in our polity such that they have now assumed pre-eminence over all other national concerns.
Governments, political leaders, stakeholders, traditional institutions and well-meaning Nigerians must at this point in time stop everything else and pay due and urgent attention to finding quick solutions to these pressing issues before the consequences of failure to address them consume the entire nation.
The political class through the two major political parties, the APC and the PDP, must stop playing the ostrich game and begin to act responsibly by taking the front-line position in finding solutions to intricate national problems.
Political leaders, especially those who aspire to the highest office in the land, must come to the realisation that any destabilisation of the country will have serious implications on the political process.
In severe national crisis or a near war situation, the electoral process will be truncated and all political ambitions decapitated instant. So, these leaders must of necessity come together and deploy resources towards helping the government evolve sustainable solutions to our present quagmire.
In periods of serious political crisis, the electorate will be engrossed with securing their lives, their families and properties, and certainly will not be concerned with voting. Therefore, under the present tense situation which threatens the corporate existence of the country all political ambitions ought to be on hold and all efforts concentrated on saving the nation.
I strongly advice the federal government to immediately create a platform and the enabling environment for dialogue and peaceful deliberations aimed at finding lasting solutions to these bedevilling issues which threaten the very foundations of our national co-existence.
Government must resist the temptation to dismiss agitators for self-rule as trouble makers or rabble rousers. The division or schism in our nation runs far deeper than what is observable at the surface. And the deployment of violent forces against our own citizens must be ruled out completely as a management option.
We need at this stage to avoid further deaths, killings and bloodshed. Any action or inaction that can lead to civil war must be cautiously and consciously avoided.
All resources both material and human and available expertise and technology must be deployed to stop banditry and kidnapping.
A national decision based on preference of ranching to open grazing backed by appropriate legislation must be promulgated and established nationally, immediately.
Finally, a round table dialogue of ethnic nationalities under the auspices of the federal government must be seen as a critical national imperative now.
Government and the good people of this country must do everything possible to prevent a descent into anarchy, chaos and socio-political instability.
Dr. Doyin Okupe is a former presidential spokesperson