From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Executive Director of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Rev Fr. George Ehusani, has cautioned the Presidency against antagonising critics, stressing that people who pick holes its style of governance mean well for the country.
Ehusani stated this recently in Abuja at a town hall meeting to celebrate the 2021 World Dialogue Day, also known as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, with the team: ‘National Intergration and the Imperative of Dialogue,’ in partnership with MacArthur Foundation
Ehusani maintained that without healthy dailogue between the Government and the people, the country would continue to grope and flounder in the face of daunting challenges.
He stressed that the event was an avenue for citizens to deepen their understanding on the importance of dialogue as an ongoing engagement in a culturally, religiously and politically diverse society like Nigeria.
According to him, there is a need for citizens to listen attentively to each other, in order to feel the pulse of other and where there are serious differences of opinion, to respect the right of other person or group to express such opinions.
“We want to be included at the table. We do not want to be treated like Lazarus and the rich man. We want to be at the table to discuss our affairs and concerns.
“We do not want situation where some people will tell us that anybody who is criticising how the government is running the affairs is the enemy of the Government. We do not want that kind of situation. That is not respectful enough of our feelings to say that if I criticise the government I am an enemy of the government.
“People have actually said that those who are criticising the policies of the government may actually be more patriotic people because they are interested in the survival of Nigeria, and on account of their interest in the survival of Nigeria may see certain things going wrong,” he said.
A former Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Goke Adegoroye, expressed worry over the unhealthy rivalry between the Government and the people, especially on the agitation for the actualisation of Biafra.
Other panelists at the event included Uju Obuekwe and Hauwa Abbas. They expressed serious concern over the disintegration of the country along ethnic lines.
Abbas, who called on traditional rulers to speak up for the people, added that “our diversities can be better managed for the benefit of all, rather than being seen as cause of so much tension, division and violence in the land.”
Obuekwe said the absence of justice and glaring nepotism, were some of the problems giving room for agitation which has led to the constant burning of police stations in the Southeast.
She implored the Federal Government to change the narrative and give every region a sense of belonging.