Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following the suspension of the controversial Ruga scheme by the federal government, the One Nigeria Coalition has urged the Pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Coalition of Norther Group (CNG) to shun ethnic bigotry in addressing issues of national interest.
The coalition, in a statement issued on Sunday and signed by its President, Charles Mbani, after an emergency meeting, said it had become imperative to avoid unnecessary heating up of the polity which could ultimately lead to social and political unrest.
He recalled that the Coalition of Northern Groups had in a televised press conference addressed by its spokesperson, Suleiman Abdul-Aziz, vowed to take it out on southerners living in the north if southern governors did not accept the implementation of Ruga initiative.
He added that this apparently did not go down well with the Igbos who fired back shots, labelling the initiative an “Islamisation and a Fulanisation policy.”
Against this background, It stated: “The One Nigeria Coalition arising from its emergency meeting in light of the recent outburst by the CNG and the subsequent response by Ohaneze Ndigbo wishes to state that both organisations have exhibited a high sense of unpatriotic acts that defeats every sense of unity of heart and purpose.
“That the Northern Youths Coalition could issue an ultimatum to the federal government on the implementation of Ruga across the country upon which a line of action would be taken should the federal government fail to implement the policy is quite insensitive and an affront to the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria.
“The One Nigeria Coalition states in unequivocal terms that the outburst by the CNG and the subsequent response by Ohaneze Ndigbo are careless, utterly disappointing and unbecoming of a group such as Ohaneze Ndigbo.”
The coalition insisted that the farmers and herdsmen crisis in the country could only be resolved through a holistic approach by stakeholders and not biased, sentimental ethnic warlords like the CNG and the Ohaneze Ndigbo who have clearly shown times without number that their ultimate aim is to plunge the nation into monumental crisis.
It added, ‘That all parties concerned must desist from acts that would set the country on the path of war, instead they should channel efforts towards actions and activities that would further unite the country in the interest of all.”