By Daniel Kanu
Assistant Politics Editor
A social critic and public analyst, George Nwokoro, has asked ethnic groups to tread cautiously and desist from making provocative statements capable of setting Nigeria ablaze.
This is coming on the heels of the recent threat to Ndigbo by the Arewa youths to quit their territory.
Also he advised the Federal Government not to take kindly inflammatory statements from the North but to ensure they wade into the matter for amicable solution.
Nwokoro, who spent years in Istanbul, Turkey, doing business, said that hate speeches would only cause unending crises that could destroy the corporate existence of Nigeria.
According to him, “Nigeria will be better, greater and command greater respect in unity in diversity given its size, population and resources.”
Nwokoro further said: “I think Nigeria is a sovereign state whereby issues should be handled with absolute care and caution. The sensitive situation we are in today is such that people’s actions or inaction, comments or pronouncements must be weighed not to cause disaffection.
“We must tread cautiously in our outbursts so that we don’t negatively affect, abuse or mock any ethnic group because of their views on critical issues.
“I think the Northern elite should be in a position to speak out and caution their children as to the dangers of the drums of war being propagated. We need to be careful on how we make inciting statements capable of setting the country ablaze.
“All of us, as Nigerians have been living together over the years and I think we need a peaceful dialogue. I still think that the size, the population, resources both human and material are to our greatest advantage if we unite together in our diversity than to disintegrate.
“One should think that those beating the drums of war from the North would be those that never experienced the civil war but it worries me when I see people one may consider an adult joining in the fray. Those that know the consequences of war can never subscribe to it no matter the provocation.”
He explained further to the TheNiche: “Being an elite is not an easy thing because it goes with experience, age, discipline, exposure, education, maturity, ability to lead others, ability to make peace, having capacity to change things for the good of the people. So I expect Northern elite to wade into the situation seriously to save avoidable danger that will do no good for the country.
“War does no good to anybody and when you take statistics of countries in war today, you will understand better. No matter the situation we are politically mature to bring our different issues on the dialogue table. You look for strategies and diplomatic solutions to tackle certain issues rather than outright war.
“Throwing the country into war will be disastrous for all of us and I think the Presidency, the National Assembly, all Nigerian statesmen must rise to this ugly challenge at this critical period of our country where we have serious economic recession and instability.
“The best thing for us now is not to heat up the polity or raise war alarm. Any mistake we make now on throwing Nigeria into war will be regrettable . We must tread cautiously because anybody may likely be a victim of war when it starts.
“What we need to do is how to restructure the country to ensure there is a balance, to ensure there is equity, fairness and justice as these will engender peace and lead to progress.” Already, the Federal Government has through the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, warned that the government would take very seriously and prosecute any attempt by anyone to promote violence and disrupt the peace in the country.