By ERNEST NZOR, Abuja
Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) calls for urgent national dialogue to address issues arising from ethnic clashes in most parts of the country which have resulted to lost of lives and property. CUPP also condemned in strong terms the brazen abduction of some students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi local government area, Niger State by gunmen and calls for their unconditional release to reunite with their families and loved ones.
This is contained in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja yesterday by the chairman
Contact And Mobilization Committee and member, Steering Committee, CUPP, Rev. Olusegun Peters He said the spate of kidnappings, killings and destruction of property in recent times is outrageous and unacceptable to patriotic Nigerians.
He said the peace, unity and stability of the nation have been eroded by frequent ethnic clashes between indigenes and non-indigenes, exacerbated by the recent herders-farmers conflicts in the South West, adding that it is time for national dialogue of all ethnic nationalities to brainstorm on crucial national issues and proffer solutions needed for national unity, cohesion and development.
The statement reads in part, “Nigerians have a right to live unmolested in any part of the country they choose to live. It is their inalienable right as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). It is inappropriate to issue quit notice to fellow compatriots to vacate their places of residence on ethnic ground, just as it is unjust for herders to allow their cattle to damage farmlands at a time the nation needs adequate food production to feed its teeming population.
“CUPP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to organize this crucial national dialogue aimed at dousing tensions in the polity and proffer solutions to the myriad of problems confronting the nation. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.
“A national dialogue will afford opportunity to all ethnic nationalities to table their grievances for amicable discussion, negotiation and generally acceptable resolution that will accelerate and propel political, economic, social and cultural advancement of the country. The issues of restructuring, true federalism, resource control, derivation principle, state and communal policing, state of origin/status of non indigenes, herders-farmers conflicts/ranching, environmental degradation, marginalization, social injustices, communal clashes, rotation of president and sundry matters that have bedevilled the nation will be discussed and resolved amicably.
Whatever it takes to bring Nigerians to a roundtable dialogue to attain political stability, economic prosperity, social justice, cultural cohesion and religious harmony, bonded in love, faith and unity should be done immediately.
“Nigerians have been so divided, so insecure and lack confidence in their government at all levels as obtainable today. Since 2015, the nation has been on its perilous course sliding into anarchy, terrorism, insurgency, militancy, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, economic stagnation, ethnic tensions, herders-farmers conflicts, religious crisis, social injustice and monumental corruption.
This dangerous trend that has threatened national security must stop forthwith. The government of the day has abdicated its duty to protect lives and property of its citizenry in flagrant violation of section 14(2)b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which provides, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Since power resides in the people, a national dialogue and its resolutions will give direction to the way forward and reaffirm the people’s faith and confidence in the fatherland. In brotherhood and patriotism, we shall overcome all obstacles in our march to greatness and prosperity. We are all in it together!
“CUPP condemns in strong terms the brazen abduction of some students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area, Niger State by gunmen and calls for their unconditional release to reunite with their families and loved ones..
This act of cowardice must stop forthwith. To invade schools and abduct innocent students and staff is outrageous, despicable and wicked. This reign of terror must stop.
Our heart goes out to the traumatized hostages and pray for their immediate release.”
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