On January 1, 2012 PPPRA announced the removal of fuel subsidy which was confirmed by the Presidency. Thus, very numerous people were angered by the swift announcement of the subsidy removal as they were indeed caught unawares. Besides the highly disturbing Boko Haram phenomenon and unrelenting destruction of lives and property everywhere by the insurrectionary Islamic sect and sundry other socio-economic and political challenges overwhelming this administration already, one is indeed, piqued to ask: Why taking this potentially self-destructing path in the troubled and fledgling economy again?
People took to the streets to protest and show their displeasure at what they termed "an insensitive decision by the Federal Government". Several lives were lost by both protesters and innocent bystanders.
When it seemed like the pressure of the subsidy was peeling off slowly, the largest city in Nigeria was hit with multiple bomb blasts and gun battles by the dreaded "Boko Haram" sect. A lot of people have been peddling rumors about violence erupting in areas where there is calm and have predicted various disruptions and the possible division of Nigeria. Despite the fact that we cannot neglect troubled areas or pretend that the violence is not in existence, creating or instigating panic never resolves a problem rather it distracts the citizens from the issues in focus.
We have pointed fingers and planned retaliations against attacks supposedly targeted at Christians and Ndi Igbo. However, let us tread with caution. I am appealing to Nigerians particularly Ndi-Igbo to desist from practices that can cause discord and division as there is heightened tension in the land already. Has there ever been a time when one group of people openly exposes its animosity for another group of people—even as this second group not only ignores the animosity, but speaks well, enables, and legitimizes the first group? That is what Igbos are known for, quenching fire with water.
It is in the heart of men that war and fighting is initiated and so we must stop thinking ill of one another and proceed to practice the peace taught by both the christians and Muslims. If we practice love, this wanton destruction of properties and taking of lives will stop. Properties can be reclaimed but lives lost cannot.
We all need to join hands together and assist the Federal Government to fish out these hoodlums patiently. They are our neighbors, friends and relatives. The government cannot work in isolation.
I want us to look beyond our differences as a people and join hands to wipe out what is eating up our nation in form of terrorism or corruption. I implore Ndi Igbo not to take laws into their hands in form of retaliation but rather, find ways of protecting the members of the Islamic community in their midst whilst reporting suspicious characters.
The government is working hard to resolve security issues once and for all. Already the major political parties have begun to call on their supporters to stay calm, exude professionalism, and maintain an atmosphere of tranquility. The private sector body is hoping that their effort in promoting an issue-based election pays off and Nigeria generally remains non-violent. Nigeria has had a successful transition from Military rule to a Civilian democratic government. The Elections conducted in 2010 was rated as the ‘best’ in Nigeria. We put aside our ethnicity and language differences to speak with one voice asking for change. We want a non-violent post-elections period because we want to continue the work of building this nation. So, I think all the parties, Civil Society groups and ethnic groups have a major role to play to ensure that the situation remain calm throughout this trying period of chaos.
Now, we have done the ground work and the campaigning aspect of the elections are over, so now we have to settle down and do the real work together to build this country for the good of all Nigerians, then we would have achieved something.
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