Secession threats, inter-ethnic discontent and hate speech have plunged present day Nigeria into a division that has probably never been experienced before, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said. Abubakar, who made the observation at the 40th anniversary of the Federal Government College, Okigwe, Imo state, on Saturday, noted that all tribes of the country needed one another to achieve desired goals.
He said: “This celebration is coming at a critical time in our country’s history,” he said. “All of you must be aware of the recent agitations from diff erent parts of the country, with some groups threatening violence and, in some cases, secession.
These agitations are the result of a number of factors which I will not bother going into at this time, although since you are all enlightened men and women, I have no doubt that you are well and fully aware of what they are. “
As a result of these various forces, the Nigeria of today appears more divided than it has ever been before. Our country is not at war in the sense of guns and bombs, but the level of interethnic discontent, hatred, and hate speech is at an all-time high.”
The former vice-president, who was represented at the occasion by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, emphasised the need for unity among different ethnic groups rather than a restructure of the country. “You know from personal experience that the Hausa man’s problem is not the Igbo man, that the Igbo man’s problem is not the Yoruba man, that the Yoruba man’s problem is not the Hausa man, etc
. “My dear students and alumni of the Federal Government College, Okigwe, Nigeria needs you at this hour. The glory of what was begun here 40 years ago must not be allowed to die. It must be propagated throughout all our country.
That is a responsibility that you must all meditate on as you celebrate with one another over the next few days of this grand occasion.”