The President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, has declared that Nigeria is not working while emphasising that ethnicity and religion is gradually destroying the future of the country.
Buhari lamented that Nigerians are daily splitting along ethnic and religious lines, but expressed confidence that the nation can overcome her myriads of problems through the deployment of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), adding that, mediation and conciliation had been necessary tools in dispute resolution.
He was speaking at the 2018 Annual Conference and Induction Ceremony of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme: “Myth and Reality of Agitations; The Place of Consensus Building, Buhari said, “As a nation, however, we have to tell ourselves the hard truth. Nigeria, as currently constituted, is certainly not working well. Nigerians are not only dangerously split along ethnic, religious, and sectional lines, the gap is widening on a daily basis.
“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. I also believe that the 2014 National Conference Report is a starting point”, he said.
According to him, the 2014 National Conference report remains the most recent roadmap produced by every shade of opinion and group in the country.
“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 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”, he insisted.
He however noted with cheers that the ADR now thrives in the country and practitioners are eager to lend their expertise and weight to the consensus building efforts.
While stating that key players in the Boko Haram insurgency were profiting from the crisis and as such would not want it to end, the Don urged Buhari to embrace the leader of the insurgent group, Abubakar Shekau, as a way of bringing the battle to an end.
President of the ICMC, Mr. Emeka Obegolu, said the Institute preferred the promotion of mediation and conciliation for dispute resolution, adding that “they are a vehicle to the enthronement of political, communal and ethno/tribal peace and harmony in Nigeria.”
“We are challenged to continue to interrogate the incessant crisis that bedevils the polity and threatens to tear the social fabric of our society apart”, he said.