He recently revealed this in his keynoted address themed, ‘Peace And Development In Nigeria: The Pragmatic Approach,’ delivered at a two-day summit organised by the Sultan Maccido Institute For Peace And Development Studies of the University Of Abuja.
According to him, it is sad that today Nigeria is faced with unprecedented crisis so much so that nothing in our history prepares us for such a time as this.
He added that it seems like Nigeria is currently suffering from some kind of God-ordained ineluctable fate and we all need to seek forgiveness.
His words, “Today, Nigeria is faced with unprecedented crisis so much so that nothing in our history prepares us for such a time as this. We seem to have accepted killings and mass murder as our new normal and so many cold-blooded murder of our brothers and sisters no longer make the headlines in the media. As students, lecturers and political leaders, some of us are complicit while the few who have dared to speak up are already outraged, fatigued and have surrendered to fatalism- a feeling that nothing matters anymore. It is like Nigeria seems to be suffering from some kind of God-ordained ineluctable fate. What we have done before doesn’t matter, all that matters is our present station.”
“I have made the point before that Nigeria cannot survive if our peoples merely tolerate each other. Our happiness cannot be the other groups’ unhappiness. Our strength is not and will never be in our numbers but in our unity. When we are United, we’ll be strong and when we strive to keep our bond and remain undivided, we will be invincible. This is what should concern every patriotic Nigerian at the moment not schemings for future elections. All efforts of patriotic citizens must be geared towards stopping our dear country from the ongoing death by a thousand cuts.”
“Like I said earlier, our most immediate problem is the dangerous drift of Nigeria into chaos and anarchy.
Apart from the rabid insecurity plaguing the nation, there are real or imagined charges of ethnic cleansing and domination of some sections by a certain section. Attacks are unrelenting and there appears to be no end in sight. The situation has clearly gotten out of hand, following the repeated overrun of military formations by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, wanton killings and kidnap for ransom and mass abduction of school children in different parts of the Country.
“For instance, we all know that the North bears nearly 90 per cent of the insecurity brunt of the country. If estimates are anything to go by, not less than 50,000 northerners have been killed while over three million have been displaced in the Northeast alone. No one has the record of Northern lives lost to rural banditry, the farmer-herder clashes and ethno-religious conflicts. The number grows exponentially when we add the death occasioned by urban violence unleashed by an increasing army of mostly jobless youths suffering from substance use disorder.”
“Added to the above is the threat posed by school dropouts and out-of-school children. A survey in 2015 put the number of out-of-school children in the country at 13.2 million. The latest MlCS data tells us that 69 per cent (9.1m)of out-of-school children in Nigeria are in northern states. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the North just like other parts of Nigeria is in a demographic transition. The consequence of the “youth bulge” is that there are so many young people competing for limited number of career opportunities. Those who lose out and fail to secure a place in society have become frustrated, angry and violent as predicted. This set of young people easily surrender themselves for radicalisation, as the timeless adage goes, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
“Instead of the “youth bulge” to be a blessing, it is fast leading to swapping of roles of our youths from productive Labourers to disaffected rebels. What is left for us is to work out how to productively channel this restive energy. How do we warehouse this demography now and in the future? If we cannot find a place for them in society, how will they view us and the society they will live in? The situation is such that even the most incurable Nigerian optimist cannot sleep well in the face of these grim statistics. I hope this submit does not miss this point.”
“There is no hiding place for us anymore because Nigeria is no longer the same. Structural injustices, mass illiteracy, mass poverty, mass unemployment and under-employment have all combined to pull out those we had pushed to the fringes of society to our streets and villages with heavy tolls on Nigerian lives and devastations at all levels. We now have a small percentage of highly educated Nigerian youths who are prepared to question everything including questioning the questions themselves.”
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