The presidential candidate of the People’s Trust (PT) in the 2019 presidential election, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has cautioned leaders and the led across the country to shun divisive and inflammatory comments.
He noted that unsavoury comments and inflammatory statements would only disrupt peace and unity of the country.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, Olawepo-Hashim also warned against pitching one ethnic group against the other.
He said that the aged long farmers-herders’ conflict exacerbated by other security challenges must never be a justification for ethnic stereotyping capable of provoking ethnic pogroms in the country.
“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.
“This was the time to motivate and encourage various security agencies to step up their games and this was the time for government leaders to act as statesmen and we must unite to save the nation he added.
He advised public officers at all levels to 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 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.
He reiterated his call for devolution of power to states in policing to lessen security burden of the federal government.
“States and local policing may help reduce tension as security questions requiring prompt attention would be taken at state levels before they fester into broader national crisis,” he said.
Observing that nation building would not be completed in one day, the business mogul expressed optimism that there would still be life after 2023 and Nigeria will survive.
Hashim said that from ongoing public debate, it was obvious that consensus had been built around certain issues such as the desirability of state police to deal with insecurity and devolution of powers to states to control their land resources.