Commentary: State Of The Nation And 2021 Asaba Declaration

Commentary: State Of The Nation And 2021 Asaba Declaration

Nigeria – BY NZE NWABUEZE AKABOGU. It was indeed a moment of great excitement when the Governors of the seventeen Southern States held their historic meeting in Asaba, the Delta State Capital on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The outcome of the meeting was received with great enthusiasm and high expectations by the people of the region.

It was indeed a welcome development that the Southern States Governors, irrespective of their political affiliations, rose to the occasion to protect and defend their people against the current seemingly orchestrated and rather well co-ordinated unprovoked attacks by the so-called gunmen, herders, bandits and terrorists against their peace loving and law abiding citizens.

It is a fact that thousands of innocent lives have been lost through the incessant attacks. Therefore the historic meeting by the Southern States Governors could not have come at a better time than now.

Some of the high points in their resolutions as contained in their communiqué include: Urgent and bold steps to restructure Nigeria; Full enforcement of the ban on open grazing and that President Buhari should address the Nation on the lingering general insecurity in the country. Others are the need to Review the lopsided appointments into Government departments/security agencies to reflect the diversity of the Nation; need for restructuring and that United Nigeria must be based on equity, justice and fairness among other recommendations.

In the light of the foregoing therefore, it has become imperative that a national conference of all ethnic nationalities must be summoned as a matter of utmost urgency to deliberate on the future of Nigeria, which will guarantee social justice, equity and fairness among the diverse ethnic nationalities.

The Southern Governors should be highly commended for their uncommon courage and patriotism in confronting head-on the myriad of challenges currently facing the Nation. It is the hope and wish of the people of the Southern region that such meetings should be on regular basis so as to keep abreast with the current fast political developments in the country.

It is equally recommended that the next meeting of the Southern Governors should be expanded to include notable opinion leaders such as eminent personalities, political gladiators, religious leaders, traditional rulers, captains of industries among others from the region with a view to tapping or harnessing their wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of the region and its people.

The Southern Governors forum should also consider the possibility of inviting their counterparts from the Middle Belt Region to join them in the current debate about Nigeria’s future. This is obviously the right time to join forces with other leaders to move the nation forward.

It is a matter of deep regret, however, that some people, who are expected to play the role of statesmen and bridge builders, greeted the outcome of the progressive Southern Governors meeting with negative, divisive and highly acrimonious and jaundiced stance.

There was absolutely nothing new in the resolutions contained in the communiqué issued by the Southern Governors. They merely re-echoed and reinforced the popular clamour or demands by the Nigerian people to the effect that certain fundamental defects in the socio-political structures of the country must be urgently addressed. The resolution would even enable the Nation achieve her goals and full potentials as a great Nation and worthy member of the comity of advanced Nations of the world.

Anyone in his or her right senses could not be talking about the Nigerian unity while at the same time fanning the embers of hate, division and promoting sectional interests in the country. It is high time therefore that the Nigerian people should tell themselves the truth and call a spade a spade.

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