Businessman and presidential candidate in the national 2019 election, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has said for collective survival, Nigerians must tone down divisive actions and speeches.
Reacting to rising ethnic tension in the country, Hashim warned that pitting one ethnic group against the other and pushing for attacks and reprisals are ill-wind that can only ensure mutual destruction.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, Olawepo-Hashim, who expressed deep anxiety over the development, said age long farmers-herders’ conflict exacerbated by other security challenges must never be a justification for ethnic stereotyping capable of provoking ethnic pogroms.
“All patriotic Nigerians should be worried. I am worried. We all have roles to play, community leaders and social organisations must tone down divisive rhetoric. Now is the time to motivate and encourage various security agencies to step up their games. Now is the time for government leaders to act as statesmen. We must unite to save the nation.
“Public officers at all levels must avoid statements and actions that show support for any party to the conflict as it has tendency to undermine national cohesion and security. On clashes between herders and farmers all over Nigeria, it is well agreed by all reasonable citizens and leaders that a pastoral practice that ruins the legitimate businesses of others, must immediately give way to a more acceptable and modern arrangement.
“We need a transition to a system that accommodates the aspirations of poor farmers and herders who have long been neglected by successive governments. This is the most urgent task of public policy at both state and federal levels. Perhaps it is time again to renew our earlier call for devolution of power to the states in policing and other critical areas, in order to lessen the burden of the Federal Government in policing,” he said.