Friday, 3 August 2012

Nigeria: Ex-presidents call for unity and peace

Two former presidents of Nigeria have issued a joint statement on the state of the nation. Former military president, Gen Ibrahim Babangida and former president Olusegun Obasanjo (who also served as military president 1976-79) issued the rare joint statement in Minna, Niger State, the home town of Babangida, on Sunday 29 July. They said that the statement was in response to the “unfolding events that are threatening to unravel the nearly century-old labour of our founding fathers”.

They urged that there was a need for a strong, united and peaceful nation, noting that there were internecine crises raging across the land unabated, with damaging consequences on the social, political and economic life of the nation, with untold hardships being visited on all citizens in one form or the other on a daily basis. They also pledged to do whatever was necessary to promote the quest for peace and harmony and to join hands with all patriots to sustain and further enhance the unity and progress of Nigeria.

Their statement has been met with mixed reviews. While some have commended both men for speaking out in unison against the security challenges that have held the country in a firm grip over the past year, others such as the Ohaneze Ndigbo socio-political group of the South-Eastern region, were less charitable as they referred to both men as hypocritical.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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