The Catholic Bishop of Abuja archdiocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has heaped blames on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for the increased agitation for Nigeria’s breakup.
He said that the agitation springing up from different parts of the country is due to the failure of the current government to abide by the principle of federal character in the appointment of public officers.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan said this while speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, June 21, at an event to mark the centenary of Abuja’s first Catholic archbishop, late Ignatius Cardinal Ekandem.
“The issue is, what are those things that are happening in Nigeria now, which need to be critically and effectively looked at, in such that, this sense of dissatisfaction, exclusion, injustice that people are feeling will be reduced to the minimum?” he asked.
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“We all know what is causing people to be angry. If the federal character leads to injustice and marginalization, then, it does not make sense. We must change the way we are doing things, we cannot continue like this. Definitely, if we do, there will be more anger, more calls for change and we don’t know who will be able to mobilize more people to cause more problem.
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“It is not only the Biafrans who are disgusted with this country; a lot of us are, even though we still are not thinking of leaving the country. It is like a father who is angry with his son; you will still not throw him away.”
Mr. Onaiyekan said the problems currently threatening the unity of the country could be addressed through restructuring.
“Some people put it under big title of restructuring. We need to restructure if we want the country to survive. The truth is that things are not organized properly and it makes the people to be dissatisfied,” Mr. Onaiyekan said.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has advocated dialogue as the solution to the agitation for the breakup of Nigeria.
Speaking when he hosted leaders of resident communities, heads of security agencies, civil society groups and media practitioners to a Ramadan breakfast dinner at his palace in Sokoto, the monarch maintained that no matter the call for secession, Nigerians would remain one big family.
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“No matter what anybody can say, no matter what is happening, we are still one big family.
“Let’s sit down, discuss these issues. So that together we can find out what really went wrong. Let us retrace our step and see where we started getting things wrong so that we can find the way of sorting things out.
“It is a simple thing because we are all eager to live in peace, united and to have a morally upright country based on justice, equity and above all fear of God
“I am totally disappointed over what is happening. I like challenges and we are in a challenging period and we will take it up. We will continue preaching love, impartiality, respect and unity in the country.”