By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, concurred with regional groups including Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum on the imperative for a new and visionary leadership to take Nigeria out of its present challenging economic and security situation.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja as the Special Guest at a one- day Extra Ordinary Summit of leaders and elders of Nigeria convened by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Afenifere, Ohaeneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo lamented that Nigeria had not been so divided along religious and regional lines as it is presently. He particularly flayed what he termed as inexcusable killings and devastating poverty and with government’s wringing hands and apparently incompetent to stern the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the other.
The regional leaders from the six- geo political zones of the country in their communiqué said the government lacked the capacity to arrest the drift towards a state of anarchy that looms in the country as a result of the security challenges in the country.
Dr. Obasanjo who was represented by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun State said he was unavoidably absent on account of a previously arranged international engagement in China.
Obasanjo in a letter to Prof. Abdullahi on the substance of the meeting said: “When you kindly paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago, we deliberated on the danger to our democracy, our common identity, our commonality of purpose; our dream and our unity in diversity. We lamented the harm that the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, by his action and inaction, has done and is doing to our commonwealth and our common heritage. Nigeria. in recent times, has not been so divided along religious and regional lines as at today with inexcusable killings and devastating poverty and with Government’s wringing hands and apparently incompetent to stem the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the order. The obvious indication is that the Government is seemingly confused and has got to the end of its tether and the nation is being left divisively and perilously to drift. Earlier last week, i noted in a speech some undesirable elements being allowed and being introduced to our democracy by this Administration. if these are not stopped, they could be the death knell of our democracy.
“In spite of these unfortunate Situations created by the Government, my contact and consultation, which brought me face- to – face with peoples plights and frustration, also gave me hope. People are not ready to give u; n despair and leave their fate and their present and future in the hands 0 dept leadership for their lives to be ruined. i see common concern acres “we nation irrespective of tribe religion region language and soot: tending that the situation should be retrieved and the nation should be saved.
At the end of the meeting which lasted several hours, the Leaders and Elders of the Northern Elders Forum, Afenifere, Ohaeneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, in a communiqué insisted on the emergence of ”a visionary and dynamic leadership, which will effectively deal with our security and economic challenges, and ensure good governance in the country.
The communiqué read by Professor Banji Akintoye said: the summit resolved “to insist on the emergence of a visionary and dynamic leadership which will effectively deal with our security and economic challenges, and ensure good governance in the country;
“ It is necessary to ensure the removal of marauding killers from the communities they have occupied and return same to their rightful owners who now live in IDP camps.”