Some leaders, drawn from various ethnic nationalities, have commenced nationwide town hall meetings, as part of moves to douse the growing tension in the country.
The leaders who are members of National Interest Forum (NIF), said the country in recent times has experienced various agitations threatening its unity. They said its time to change the trend.
The Forum made up of professional bodies, artisans, trade unions, students, farmers and religious bodies across the country, said Nigeria as a great nation has the potential and capacity to sustain the rest of Africa and beyond if “the big gap in our nation today which came about as a result of lack of trust, lack of unity, misunderstanding, personal and sectional interests among others are closed.”
Addressing a press conference Monday in Abuja, the national chairman of the forum, Gambo Lawan, called on all political parties and leaders, religious and traditional rulers, professional bodies to join the movement.
According to Lawan, other countries in the world have experienced similar challenges at one stage or the other but they held on to one thing which helped them overcome and that thing is, ‘putting their nations first’.
He said: “Our nation is blessed with both human and natural resources. Nigeria as a great nation has the potential and capacity to sustain the rest of Africa and beyond. These are God’s blessings which no one, no tribe, no religion can lay claim to. And as such, we owe it a duty to sustain these God-given gifts by uniting, and understanding on another, building our nation and securing the future.
“As patriots, the National Interest Forum sees the need to close the big gap in our nation today which came about as a result of lack of trust, lack of unity, misunderstanding, personal and sectional interests among others. But the good news is, our nation has the capacity and potential to surmount all these challenges which are not peculiar to our nation, Nigeria.
“We, the members of National Interest Forum today call on all Nigerians, irrespective of creed, tribe or tongue to come out and join this movement in order to bring Nigerians together to have a united front determined to put our nation first, before self, tribe or religion, in everything we do.
“We therefore call on all political parties and leaders, religious and traditional rulers, professional bodies to join in this movement so that we can begin to re-orientate our people as we put our nation first.
“In the coming days and weeks, we will be engaging our people through town hall meetings in all the states of the federation in order to be sensitised on the need for everyone to put our nation first in all our dealings. We are glad to declare today, this hashtag #OurNation First. And we are optimistic that Nigeria will regain and remain the giant of Africa that it has been. God bless our nation, Nigeria.”