Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, on Tuesday said Nigerians were living in fear because of the rising insecurity across the country.
Abubakar warned that if care was not taken, the embers of disunity and anarchy in some states, could lead the nation to a point of no return.
He however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to douse the tension in the land but challenged the new Service Chiefs to rise to the demands of the moment by designing the best strategies to curb insecurity.
Abukakar also told reporters at a news conference in Minna, Niger State that Nigerians needed to join hands in order to keep the nation as one.
His words: “It is true that we are all in a state of fear and collective anxiety. However, the last thing we need is for the enemy to sense a lack of unity on our part or a break in our ranks.
“We, at the National Peace Committee, wish to add our voice to the voices of millions of Nigerians calling for calm in these difficult times.
“These times demand that we all join hands to end our solve challenges so as to keep our country united. We do not have the luxury of trading blames.”
The former Head of State also admonished state governors to sheathe their swords, tune down their rhetorics and take full responsibility for managing the divergent voices and frustrations within their states.
To traditional institutions, religious leaders and non-governmental organisations, he said: “mobilise and sensitise Nigerians on the need to live in peace.”
Also in Abuja on Tuesday, the House of Representatives cautioned public officers, especially governors, against statements capable of causing unrest in the country.
It resolved to interface with Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on ways out of the insecurity in the country.
The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance by Musa Dachung Bagos.
Before members commented on the motion, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila admonished Nigerians with large “people who listen to them and respect their voices” to be more circumspect about the information they share the language they use and the conversations they hold.
Gbajabiamila said the words “we use about each other can have outsize consequences on our nation’s peace and stability because words have the power to build and also to destroy.”
The Speaker, who made reference to last weekend’s violent clash in Shasha area of Ibadan, Oyo State asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, to order a high-powered probe into the incident with a view to ensuring that those responsible were brought to justice.
“Shortly after, and throughout last weekend, the warnings about the dangers we face manifested in Ibadan where an explosion of violence led to citizens’ death and the loss of hard-earned property.
“I assure all Nigerians that the House will work, within the powers available to us, to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents, not just in Oyo State, but across our country – North, West, East and South.”
Moving the motion, Bagos recalled that “on the 13th of February, 2021, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, a public official who should have been careful with his statements and actions; based on the insecurity problems in the country was reported to have justified the illegal bearing of firearms by Fulani herdsmen, which has caused national outrage.
“The Constitution does not grant any individual or group of people the right to bear sophisticated arms, but only in a licensed specified shooting range designated for that effect by the Inspector-General Police (IGP).”