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Nigeria divided, needs dialogue – Senator Ekweremadu


Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweramadu has advoacted the use of healthy mediation and conciliatory mechanism ‎to address the agitation and divisions in the country.

He lamented that Nigeria, as currently constituted, is certainly not working well as Nigerians are not only dangerously split along ethnic, religious, and sectional lines, the gap is widening daily.

He spoke Tuesday at the opening of the 2017 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) conference by the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (IMC) held at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.

He revealed that the orgy of agitation and hate speeches in the country arise from the feeling of injustice, inequality both real and perceived.

“As a nation, however, we have to tell ourselves the hard truth. The trend of insults and divisive verbal attacks traded by younger ones against one another’s ethnicities, sections, and religions on the social media on every matter do not also inspire any hope of a brighter future. Therefore, I believe the constituent parts of this country must come together around the table immediately to discuss and agree on how to fix the country.

While calling on the present administration to revisit the 2014 National Conference Report, Ekweremadu said he believes the report is a starting point.

“It is the most recent roadmap produced by every shade of opinion and group in the country. Sadly, it has been abandoned to gather dust. It is rather unfortunate that several months after the Senate requested Mr. President to transmit the report to the National Assembly for legislative action, nothing has happened. We only read a recent statement credited to the presidency that it has no confidence in the Confab Report.

” I do not believe, in good conscience, that a report produced by the cream of all spheres and units of the Nigerian society is worthless. Does the present government intend is to set in motion a process to convoke another conference, which outcome it can trust?

“That will be a waste of time and resources. But, whichever way we look at it, Nigerians must work out a blueprint for a workable, equitable, and prosperous nation. We cannot continue to play the ostrich while our world appears to sink. It is heartwarming that ADR now thrives in the country and practitioners are eager to lend their expertise and weight to the consensus building efforts.

‎Ekweremadu who was conferred with the Fellow of the Institute posited that a people may never be interested in peace and nation building when they feel that the country perennially hands them the short end of the stick; that they have been oppressed, robbed, and deprived of their fair shares of resources, opportunities, and security of their lives and properties.

He noted that given the slow pace of the justice system and government’s penchant for sheer force and failure to honour agreements reached at dialogues, many Nigerians and groups have resorted to self-help.‎

“Faced with such circumstances in their relation with the government, corporate institutions, fellow citizens, and other ethnic nationalities, the people have three options: dialogue, litigation, and self-help. Sadly, given the slow pace of the justice system and government’s penchant for sheer force and failure to honour agreements reached at dialogues, many Nigerians and groups have resorted to self-help.

‎He explained that agitation for restructuring for a more equitable and workable Nigeria has recently gathered enormous momentum than at any other time in Nigeria’s history.

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