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We must avoid past mistakes—Diya

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Former Chief of General Staff under General Sani Abacha, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd), has called for peace and unity in Nigeria as he clocks 77 today.

Diya in a statement urged Nigerians to appreciate the country’s unique blessings and to come together to pursue peaceful co-existence.

Expressing concern over the level of disagreement in the country today, the former number two citizen said, “Sociologists have always warned us that “the rumours of war always justify armament. Armament itself heightens the possibility of war. We must avoid a repeat of mistakes of the past. Peace is all we need.

“The political class must play by the rules and observe the thin line that separates politics from governance. Security matters should not be toyed with on the altar of politicking. Hate speech, fake news, as well as inciting ethnic-religious acts should be completely eradicated. I have fought many wars in my life. I have been out there all my life. I know the feel, the smell, the agony and the long time implications of wars. After a war, there must still be a dialogue, so it is better to dialogue and talk our way out of the problems,” he said.

He said: “As mortals, we must celebrate everyday as it comes. However, by the special grace of God and some divine arrangement, I am alive and in good health to celebrate my 77th birthday. I give all glory, honour and adoration to the Almighty God.

“This special day also affords me an opportunity to reflect and attempt to proffer a solution on the state of our dear nation, Nigeria.

“There is no gainsaying that we all need to come together to confront our common enemy – war and its apostles – so that we can rise together as one.

“Nigeria is a uniquely blessed nation. God has bequeathed on us a large vibrant population; a vast land filled graciously with milk and honey. North, East, South or West, everywhere you turn, there is a mineral resource that will remind you that God loves us,” he said.

“As a people, we should not allow these free gifts of nature to turn us against one another. I agree that there has always been one misunderstanding or the other, for a long time, but what we are witnessing in the recent past is alarming. It is taking a dangerous turn. The signs are ominous. We seem to have forgotten that fundamentally, we are brothers and sisters from one source, in one nation with a common destiny. Let us pursue peace and eschew violence at all costs, by all means,” he said.

Diya thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to fight insecurity. He said, “One thing is certain, we cannot continue like this. Enough is enough. Let us cease the practice of name-calling. There is no part of the nation that does not have its inherent security challenges.

Hence, the first solution is to look inwards. Let us do a soul searching,” he said.

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