A political activist, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has advised the Federal Government to fashion out innovative methods to persuade ethnic nationalities in Nigeria to jettison their separatist agitations.
Mr Onochie, in a statement he issued in Abuja on Tuesday, also appealed to the ruling APC to step in and help the government to evolve innovative ways to end “troubling ethnic agitations’’.
He made the call against the backdrop of renewed agitations by some ethnic nationalities, including Yoruba Nation movement, Biafra and other groups in the resource-rich Niger Delta.
The federal government has been contending with separatist agitations for years, a development that has apparently slowed the wheel of progress of Africa’s most populous nation in recent years.
According to Mr Onochie, this is the only way the country can stand firm stand together in unity and faith, to pursue its aspirations as an entity.
“My advice to government is to use the remaining period of this administration to build consensus and trust to carry every group or tribe along, to end worrisome agitations from various quarters.’’
Mr Onochie, a former diplomat, restated his condemnation for the clamour for the breakup of Nigeria, saying that the country would achieve more as one indivisible entity.
He, however, called on the government to look into the root causes of the agitations by the disgruntled groups and find ways to pacify each group.
“There’s need to engage all the agitators peacefully rather than using force to settle scores because everyone in the country will end up as loser.’’
The former Delta commissioner warned that current developments in the country called for concern, pleading with senior citizens, especially political, religious and opinion leaders to rise up in one accord to save Nigeria from its troubles.
He urged the government to move carefully in its handling of the cases of the re-arrested leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as well as the leader of the Yoruba Nation group, Sunday Igboho.
Mr Onochie argued that the onus rested with leaders of the APC to reach out to other political parties to find a way forward, to forge a common front to save Nigeria in its current travails.
“While I do not support in any guise or form, the resort to armed, violence, verbal abuse and banditry by any self-determination agitator, I believe that the main reason for the complaints by the people of the regions — Biafra, Oduduwa, Niger Delta Avengers etc, is the apparent marginalisation of these nationalities.
“Let the APC rise to the challenge being the government at the centre and draw a roadmap for peace, unity and progress of our country because pretending that there is no problem is like postponing the evil day.’’
According to Onochie, dialogue remains the best option for the government to win the mind and following of every ethnic group in the country.