From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A Kaduna based teacher and Founder of a Non-governmental Organisation, Diamond-Crest for Youth Education Foundation, Mr. Gideon Onyedi has said that bloodletting arising from ethno-religious, banditry and insurgency in Nigeria actually motivated him to write a book.
Onyedi said killing and agitation for secession were not the best way to go, and called on Nigerian leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue with various sections of the country in order to find lasting solutions to insecurity bedeviling the nation.
The author stated this at the weekend during the virtual launch of his book entitled, “Who Will Save Nigeria from Ethno-Religious Strangulation?”.
“My love for mankind, my love and value for life, for the greater good and the dignity of humanity motivated me. Reality motivated me. Truth motivated me. Imminent but avoidable danger motivated. ‘For the purposes of the records’ and posterity motivated me.
To cease the flow of blood and freeze the growth of hell in Nigeria motivated me to write this book.
“Nigeria, its leadership and its various diplomatic relations since 1914 and 1960 in particular have failed to embrace the truth about reality of coexistence, and the need for transformative leadership and global citizenship ideals. The burning zeal and passion to project the issue of transformative leadership and global citizenship ideals which thematically run through the entire chapters of the book, as the unmistakable panacea to the political and ethno-religious cataclysm engulfing this nation motivated me.
“There is no problem in the world without a solution. What we lack is the leadership abilities and skills of critical thinking and creativity expressed through discernment, awareness and meta-awareness, discovery, design, devolution, courage and discipline to fix the broken subsystems or the supra-system. To offer these, was what motivated me. Nigeria can be salvaged if we all, beginning with the leadership, are willing to pay the price.
“The book seek to achieve healing, transformative leadership and global Citizenship ideals. Nigeria is more ideologically and ethno-religiously balkanised today than it has ever been since amalgamation and since independence. Everyone knows. The book is throwing the question that is in search of a true, once-in-a-lifetime generational transformative leader who has acquired an unmistakable transformative education not merely defined by literacy and numeracy, but one who understands and has imbibed the desirable global citizenship ideals with courage and discernment to be able to save and fix the nation.
“The questions are: Can we find such a one? Can we overcome the pressure of ethno-religious politics? Because it is not only deep, it is mortally fossilised. Chapter 1 and the letter I wrote to Atiku Abubakar in chapter 11, which expositorily captures what I call the 11 D’s of transformative leadership, and again the chapter on 2019 electoral litigations, including chapter 22, the chapter on education and unfulfilled promises to the African child, underscoring the failure of our education system explain this very well.
“The present ethno-religious crises in Nigeria is an accumulation of years of three ‘N’s’ neglect, nurture, and negative notion.. Neglect of genuine transformative leadership ideals that promote equity, fairness and inclusiveness. On the other hand, it is a consequence of years of nurturing of this ethno-religious monster in our political life. Third, it is a consequence of having the wrong notion or understanding of the concept of nation state.
“Again, the present problem is a direct consequence of fear and distrust. Total fear and lack of trust. The South does not trust the North. The North does not trust the South. The North does not and may never believe that a Southern Christian leader can protect her interest. The South does not and may never believe that a Northern Muslim leader can protect her interest. With a few exceptions who tried to maintain some kind of balance.
“Each section that gets there fights to create an everlasting favourable situation for her own people that no one can undo even in a thousand generations.
“This is the cause of the present crises. But with a genuine leader who possesses global citizenship ideals, we can overcome the problem. It may not be easy, but trust me, it is achievable. Since we are already citizens of one country, we can always find a way in the midst of our seeming incompatibilities to coexist peacefully.
“The leaders from the North, even Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna have accepted restructuring. This is a great step.. With this and other transformative steps, agitations for secession could be handled. But it will require some serious effort, building and rebuilding of trust. It may not seem easy but it will not be impossible to achieve. We can achieve it together.
“We have good people everywhere as well as bad people. I have come to know very wonderful, good, globally-minded leaders from the North who have the leadership capacity to address this issue of marginalisation. We still have more Shagari’s and more Yaradua’s presently in the political and royal classes in the North.
“I call on the present Nigerian leadership to bring these agitators together, no matter which section of the country they are from, and give them a listening ear. Even wild animals like lions can be domesticated and tamed. Snakes are tamed. Hyenas are tamed. And the best way to domesticate even the most ferocious wild animal is to show love and understanding. With love, understanding, dialogue, concessions, sacrifice, every agitation and counter-agitation can be arrested.
“The formula is love, the method is genuine transformative leadership that expresses unmistakable global citizenship ideals. We have leaders who can do it if they want and choose to”. Onyedi stated.