A former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar has advised governors in the country to immediately convene a national unity summit to iron out issues that are affecting the country.
Mr Abubakar in a statement on Sunday said Nigerians for too long have erroneously believed that the power to make effective changes in the country lies with the president, as according to him, “without the states, nobody can get to Aso Rock,” (Nigeria’s seat of power).
Atiku, a former presidential candidate said the governors must work together irrespective of tribe, religion, or political affiliations.
His comments come amidst calls by 17 southern Nigeria governors in Asaba, the Delta state capital for President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a national dialogue, adopt calls for restructuring and ban open grazing. They also requested President Buhari comply with federal character in making political appointments.
“For too long, we have erroneously thought that the power to make effective changes lies at Aso Rock. But without the states, nobody can get to Aso Rock. That is why for anyone to emerge as president of Nigeria, he or she must secure enough votes in two-thirds of the states that make up the Nigerian federation,” Mr Atiku said in the statement.
“Let us apply this wisdom to our present challenges. I call on Nigerian governors to stop waiting on Abuja to make changes and instead convene a national unity summit of all Nigerian governors to iron out the thorny issues affecting the destiny of our nation until they figure out a way to resolve them.
“Forget about your party. Forget about your tribe. Respect your religion and allow it to bring out the better part of you. Meet together. Talk together. Come up with the solutions to all our collective challenges.
“And then go back to your states, and consult with your federal and state legislators, with a view to getting them to work with their colleagues to implement the solutions you came up with. That is how to save Nigeria.”
“To keep waiting for this federal government to take the lead, and effect the changes that Nigeria needs to stop drifting, is to keep waiting for Godot. And that is a luxury we cannot afford.”
“The truth is that if at a national level, we address these unNigerian tendencies immediately and dispassionately, we would not have Nigerians congregating at a regional or sub-regional level to address these issues.
“Governors representing some states have met. And I completely understand the necessity of their meeting and the wisdom of their decisions. But no matter how much you try to clap with one hand, the vibrations will not be the same as when you clap with two hands.
“These problems were created by those with a regional mindset, and will not be solved by those with a similar mindset.”
By Abel Ejikeme