AREWA CONSULTATIVE FORUM’S CRITICISM OF VP OSINBAJO; A MISFIRED BULLET

AREWA CONSULTATIVE FORUM’S CRITICISM OF VP OSINBAJO; A MISFIRED BULLET

The first step to making progress is admitting the need to move forward; the first step to lasting peace is admitting the existence of palpable or tacit uneasiness.

On Sunday, the 27th of September, 2020 the Vice President of the Federal Republic Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in a speech delivered at a interdenominational church service held to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary in Abuja cautioned that the various challenges bedevilling the country from different fronts and in diverse forms have the ability to disintegrate the country if not properly addressed, and implored all Nigerians to see themselves as menders of broken walls, a point he buttressed by alluding to the popular Bible story of Nehemiah who built the broken walls of Jerusalem.

As benign and unassuming as these remarks from the Vice President’s speech (delivered by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha), the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Tuesday, 29th September widely publicised a press release criticising the statement of the VP and cautioned him to “watch his words” alleging that they are capable of aggravating the pre-existing polarity and schism in the country.

As a Nigerian who inquisitively and passionately follows happenings in our socio-economic and political spheres, I must assert before moving further in this writeup that a cursory interrogation into the antecedents and roles of the Arewa group and that of His Excellency the Vice President will exhaustively resolve the question of who has surreptitiously supplied grist to the mill of National division and fragmentalisation in favour of the Vice President.

It is sad and insensitive on the part of the ACF that at such volatile moments in the history of our nation, when the feeling of peace and serenity has become an august visitor – cherished but rarely seen in several parts of the country, when the sounds of gunshots and accompanying wails have become a recurring phenomenon like the morning crow of the cock, when cases of spilled human blood have become more reported than cases of crude oil spillage, when the government of Borno is planning to relocate armless internally displaced persons to their communities where well-armed security officers of the Governor’s entourage recorded great fatalities just few days ago, when banditry, herdsmen butchery and systematic annihilation of communities in the six geopolitical zones go on almost unchecked, the ACF would decide to be nitpicky, giving unfounded connotations to peaceful reflective remarks made by Prof. Osinbajo to sooth yet to be known egos.

ANALYSING THE VICE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT

For clarity, the part of the VP’s speech which the ACF has sounded a false alarm concerning is extracted and pasted hereunder;

 

It is only that kind of Nehemiah’s love that will make us as Nigerians to rebuild the cracks we have in our walls (Nigeria) today….
Fortunately for us, our walls are not yet broken but there are obvious cracks that could lead to break if not properly addressed. Nehemiah started with fervent prayers, seeking the Face of God and pleaded with his king to allow him return to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken walls. Because wall signifies peace, security, contentment and prosperity. It signifies the essence of the state of the nation.
“There’s urgent need for Nehemiah in our country, Nigeria, today. And like Nehemiah faced opposition in his efforts to rebuild the walls, any Nigerian that desire to rebuild Nigeria must also be ready to face stiffer opposition which will come in torrents. It can only be diffused by consistent focus and prayers,”

 

From the above, even with the aid of a microscope, one is still unable to identify the word/words used by the Vice President which has the propensity of “aggravating” the situation in the country.

It is apparent from the tone of the ACF that they will appreciate if the government and people of Nigeria continue to live in self-denial pretending not to know the humongous polarising challenges facing the nation and consequently shying away from possible solutions. An illustration that depicts the message the ACF is passing across is that of a man diagnosed of cancer by a Doctor and is informed that if same is not treated as soon as possible will lead to the death of the man, hence, the he should make swift efforts to treat the cancer. However, instead of searching for solutions, the man begins to cast aspersions on the Doctor. Oh! Most irrational and irresponsible. Unfortunately, this is the shoe the ACF has chosen to put on by its response to the Vice President.

The first step to lasting peace is admitting the existence of palpable or tacit uneasiness. The Vice President has in the past five years contributed immensely to the restoration of peace in troubled regions across the country including during the resurgence of militancy in 2016/2017 in the Niger Delta amidst other subterranean efforts to end the scourge of killings by herdsmen and bandits. His statement on Sunday cannot by any reasonable interpretation be construed as meaning to aggravate the already tensed atmosphere but rather to birth a sense of duty amongst Nigerians to contribute to the process of peace-building and equally hinting on the impending catastrophe that will inadvertently befall us if we continue to play pranks with these critical national issues.

I therefore conclude by urging the Arewa Consultative Forum to redeem its soiled image by apologising to the Vice President for improperly and rashly interpreting his statement.

God bless Nigeria.

Kelechukwu Prosper Nwodo, a law student writes from Benin

Kelechinwodo523@gmail.com, +234707340392



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AREWA CONSULTATIVE FORUM’S CRITICISM OF VP OSINBAJO; A MISFIRED BULLET AREWA CONSULTATIVE FORUM’S CRITICISM OF VP OSINBAJO; A MISFIRED BULLET Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on October 01, 2020 Rating: 5

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