By Kunle Adewale
Hate speeches and quit notices from one ethnic group to another are injurious to the health of Nigeria as a nation and capable of damaging the gains inherent in its diversity.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central Senatorial District canvassed the position while speaking at the Town Hall meeting she held with her constituents yesterday at Arcade Hall, Eko Club, Surulere, Lagos.
She described Nigeria as a complex country, but noted that her greatness lies in its diversity, the different groups that form the whole.
A coalition of Northern groups called Arewa Youths had earlier issued a notice to Igbo in the Northern part of the country to quit the area by October 1, 2017, but following widespread condemnation, the group later rescinded the quit notice.
Senator Tinubu commended the Arewa Consultative Forum for prevailing on the youths to withdraw their hurtful call.
â€œI also appeal to others to follow suit and take back any statements capable of leading to hostilities and apprehension,â€ she said at the 23rd Town Hall meeting with the theme â€˜Embracing our Complexity and Diversityâ€™.
The meeting was attended by Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun; Secretary, All Progressives Congress, Lagos State, Hon. Hakeem Bamgbala; Lagos Central Senatorial Leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi; former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Mr. Olawale Edun; former House of Representatives member, Hon. Wale Oshun, and some White Cap Chiefs among others.
She charged Nigerians to re-evaluate themselves and those around them to adequately benefit from the diversity of ideas and experiences, which are important for the development of the country.
Senator Tinubu said Nigeria and other states have a lot to learn from Lagos State, pointing out that Lagos â€œwith all the different ethnicities that make up Nigeria residing within her boundaries, has proven that indeed, it is possible to coexist peacefully.
â€œThis is only possible because of the practise of all-inclusive governance by the Lagos State Government, and provision of opportunities for all regardless of ethnic groups, social standing or religion,â€ she added.
The Senator told her constituents that since the last town hall meeting, 34 bills had been presented at the Senate while 30 bills and 15 motions were considered, including a motion sponsored by 108 Senators on the need for national unity and peaceful co-existence.
â€œThe motion urged amongst others that we embrace patriotism and nationalism while shunning divisive comments. In contributing to the motion, I stressed on my ties to different ethnic communities, the importance of the different parts that make up the whole, and how we all have something to contribute to the development of Nigeria,â€ she said.
She also reported the progress made by the Senate so far on the attempt to amend the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
At the constituency level, Senator Tinubu also spoke about her efforts towards getting jobs for some unemployed people in her constituency through the National Directorate of Empowerment.
She also disclosed among others that the Lagos Senatorial District was included in Small Scale Business Enterprise Management Skills Training Programme organized by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) at Balikisu Iyede Street, Onike-Yaba from Monday July 17â€“ Friday July 21, 2017. The training was targeted towards artisans and ensuring sustainability of business practices.
Calling for support for the ongoing initiatives of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to fully develop the state, Senator Tinubu said the Lagos of â€œour dream is closer than everâ€.