Nigeria’s former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), has noted that the agitation for self-determination in different parts of the country and the security challenges same has brought, pose a threat to Nigeria’s existence if they are not addressed with urgency.
Ihejirika spoke at the Interfaith Roundtable on Building a Culture of Peace and Unity in Nigeria organised by the Methodist Church in Abuja over the weekend.
He noted that the growing insecurity in the country, should give any patriotic citizen cause for worry.
“The security situation and spate of security challenges in the country should give any reasonable and patriotic Nigerian a sense of worry and concern,” he said.
“More worrisome is the occasional clamour for self-determination by a few individuals within some ethnic groups in the country. There is no doubt that the current situation is not the best. It poses a serious threat to our unity and corporate existence as a nation.”
Ihejirika called on community elders and religious leaders to preach peace in all ways possible while encouraging Nigerians to shun distrust and see differences as a source of strength for the country.
“As elders, community and religious leaders, we can contribute to the efforts of government by helping to shape the opinion and reasoning of the people, especially our youths towards peace and unity in the country. We must, through our words and actions, preach peace, love compassion and unity.
“Our differences should not be a source of division and distrust, but a source of unity, strength and tolerance to engender national building. I wish to call on all patriotic and peace loving Nigerians to raise their voices and show concern in the various communities to support any initiative that could foster peace and stability in our nation,” he added