Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Director-General of Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has called on the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, to initiate processes of consultations with the executive and legislative arms of government in order to commence the processes of implementing the recommendations of Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s Committee on federalism.
He said if the party was able to move recommendations contained in the report of the el-Rufai committee to the level of implementation, the current levels of misplaced anger against the APC and the federal government in the country would have been moderated.
Lukman stated this yesterday in a statement titled, ‘Ethnic and Religious Hatred and the Deceitful Campaigns in Nigeria.’
He said the current challenges facing the country today may present a golden opportunity for the ruling party to be able to initiate processes of implementing the recommendations contained in the report of the APC Committee on federalism.
He stated: “What may be required in the circumstances is for the APC Caretaker Committee led by Mai Mala Buni to initiate internal processes of consultations both within the party and across the executive and legislative arms of government. Given that there already exist APC tripartite consultative committee, chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), with both the party Chairman; Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; PGF Chairman, Senator Atiku Bagudu; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; and Chief of Staff to President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, serving as members, the initiative to commence processes of implementation can be started.”
Lukman said the problem of hate is making Nigerians lose their humanity so much that the notion of survival both for individuals and groups is more about the ability to defend and rationalise inclinations even when lives of other citizens are in danger.
He argued that the instinct of Nigerians to rationalise unacceptable realities has worsened, adding that it is “certainly extinguishing our humanity to the extent that there is hardly any difference between leaders and followers as well as educated and illiterate citizens.”
Lukman stressed that education is making most Nigerians become leading campaigners and promoters of disagreements and wondered why Nigerians should hate one another on accounts of ethnic and religious differences.
He said it is worrisome that as supporters in one or the other of the ongoing campaigns to promote ethnic and religious hatreds, everyone is blinded and deafened by all the distaste for each other that have taken over national conversation.
The director-general stressed that the current challenge around the criminal conducts of kidnappers and bandits who, based on all the accounts, hide under the guise of Fulani herdsmen, affect every Nigerian irrespective of ethnic and religious grouping, including Hausa-Fulani.
Lukman emphasised that those who have farms are being affected by the activities of these criminal elements too, “notwithstanding our Hausa-Fulani lineages.”
He explained that those whose farms are located in the Northern part of the country and not in the Southern part are also faced with the painful reality of these criminal elements.
Lukman said the report of activities of bandits in the North-west and North-central confirm that the problem of taking over forests by bandits also affect the North in the same way, if not worse, which should make everybody to be equally interested in pushing the government to tackle the problem.
He lamented that more worrisome was that some leaders and public officials are completely possessed by what is clearly the anger in the land.
The director-general lamented that both citizens and political leaders get trapped in the deceitful consciousness that the solution lies in bias preferences, which encourages Nigerians to further polarise society and citizens.
Lukman noted that as the society and the nation are more polarised, the problem of criminality gets bigger and overwhelming.