By Bankole Wright
Former military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), has expressed worry over the rising tension in the country.
According to TheCable, IBB issued a statement on Monday and condemned the hate speeches and divisive comments from different parts of the country.
Recalling his experience during the civil war, IBB asked those asking for secession to drop the thought.
“I need hardly say I am very worried by the current ongoing altercations and vituperations of hate across the country by individuals, well-known leaders, religious leaders, group of persons and organisations,” he said.
“Nigeria, my dear country, is not a stranger to crisis, nor is she immune to it. In a profound sense, she can be said to have been created out of crisis, a nation state that will continue to strive to subdue and transcend crises. In over a century of its formalised colonial architecture, Nigeria has grown and made remarkable progress in the midst of crises.
“The most tragic and horrendous episode in Nigeria’s history has been the 30 months civil war of July 1967 to January 1970, in which many of our compatriots lost their lives. Indeed, many others also suffered terrible injuries of human and material dimensions.
“So, who really wants to go through the depth and dimensions of another civil war in Nigeria again? Who does not know that that civil war was preceded and started by intolerance and a series of hate pronouncements, hate speeches, hate conducts and actions that were inflicted upon one another by the citizens?
“Today, with a deep sense of nostalgia, I still carry within my body the pains of injury from the civil war: there is nothing romantic about war; in any form, war is bad, condemnable and must be avoided.
“Personally, I reject the proceedings of hate and their dissemination and urge my fellow citizens to strongly condemn the scourge and orgy of the current crisis which, in my view, is an outcome of vengeful appetites within the multiple contexts of our democratic governance and the profound inequalities that have distorted our social relations.”
He said it was time to restructure the country with devolution of more powers to states.