This Isn’t Time Yet for Riot Act

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, last week, spoke tough to separatist agitators in the country, saying enough of such dispositions that tended to undermine the nation’s unity. Osinbajo, who spoke at a feast in commemoration of this year’s eid-el-kabir celebration, had represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occassion.

Quite frankly, as Nigeria’s number-two citizen and one who has a constitutional responsibility to ensure the protection of the nation’s unity in diversity, Osinbajo’s frustration was understandable, more so that it was one development that had constituted huge distraction for the government of the day. But the truth is that at this stage, talking tough should not be on the card.

For now and a long time to come, continuous engagement through dialogue with these tendencies is the way to go. It could be frustrating more so when government could descend on them all in one fell swoop and end this at once, the very essence of democracy does not encourage such a threat to clampdown on dissents and so, for now, dialogue remains the most potent tool. It is in no way a sign of weakness, but rather an indication that one of the parties could see the bigger picture.