Laleye Dipo in Minna
A former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar Saturday charged President Muhammadu Buhari not to bequeath chaos, disunity, insecurity, and hopelessness to the next generations of Nigerians.
Abubakar, also, challenged Nigerians across all ethnic and political divides “to raise the bar of peace and always walk the long road to peace in the interest of national unity and development.”
He made the call at the second General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture held at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre in Minna to mark 2019 International Peace Day.
The lecture was organised by the University of Ibadan in collaboration with the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute For Peace and Sustainable Development Studies.
While Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello was the guest speaker at the lecture, a former Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Laraba Gambo Abdullahi was the chairperson of the occasion.
Giving his remarks at the lecture, Abubakar said: “As we commemorate the International Day of Peace, we must raise the bar of peace and always walk the long road to peace in all our endeavour.”
The former military head of state noted that his admonition had become imperative because the present leadership of the country “cannot bequeath chaos, disunity, insecurity and hopelessness to the next generations of Nigerians”.
Abubakar, also, challenged the youth across the federation “to embrace the virtues of tolerance, fairness, respect for human dignity and avoid vices that disrupt sustainable peace and development.”
Speaking on the International Peace Day under the theme, Climate Change for Peace, the former leader said the impact of climate change “has exacerbated existing conflicts due to competition for scarce resources
“The impact of climate change has led to soil erosion, environmental degradation, dwindling water resources, natural disasters amongst others, these have contributed further in exacerbating existing conflicts due to competition for scarce resources
“We, therefore, need to adopt sustainable practices in the way that we use our resources for the common good for all,” Abubakar said.
Also at the forum, Bello agreed with the former Nigerian leader that climate change had multiplier effect on the society and had become a serious threat to peace because it had forced the people to abandon their livelihood in search of place to survive.
He said the increase in population “has also led to Nigerians competing for available land which he said had led to clashes between different communities in the country.
“No region of Nigeria today is safe, it is insecurity everywhere, as a result I am calling on eminent Nigerians to come up with suggestions and ways to bring an end to the growing insecurity in the country”.
In the lecture titled ‘Good Politics At The Service of Peace: Role of Eminent Persons In the Prevention and Management of Conflict in Nigeria’, the governor blamed certain politicians for heightening tensions and insecurity in the country with their utterances and actions.
Bello condemned the support being given to the now proscribed Islam Movement of Nigeria saying that such support was capable of disintegrating the country.
In his remark, Abdullahi lamented that insurgencies and conflicts remained a threat to peace, security and development in Africa, which most political actors had been unable to prevent or manage successfully.