Ebute, a Third Republic Senate President, called on CAN to take off the garment of partisanship or political parties.
He explained that Nigeria would experience peace when CAN and other religious organisations leave the political space for politicians.
The former Senate President gave the call at the opening forum of a two-day international conference on politics, religion and ethnicity in Nigeria organized by the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) in Abuja.
According to him: “Why do we draw the swords against ourselves for political, ethnic or religious reasons? Where and when did we abandon our cherished traditional norms of hospitality and brotherhood? Why the so much hate and animosities between brothers/sisters and among communities, over such molten factors, which ought to unite, rather than divide us?
“I regret to say, we have deviated so extraneously from the solid foundations our founding fathers and world-recognized nationalists laid for the future of this great nation, Nigeria.
“These great Nigerians did great things for Nigeria. Nobody actually heard about their religion, ethnicity or region in the country to the level of interfering with the delicate cords, which bind Nigeria together as one strong and indivisible entity in the resoluteness of unity.
“In post-independence Nigeria, the Zik of Africa as he was popularly called told us that ‘Each of our three regions is vastly different in many respects, but each has this in common: that, despite variety of languages and custom or difference in climate, all forms part of one country which has existed as a political and social entity for fifty years. That is why we believe that the political union of Nigeria is destined to be perpetual and indestructible.’
“We must also ponder on the wisdom of Sir Ahmadu Bello on unity and peace of Nigeria. He canvassed a proper understanding of ourselves for the unity of Nigeria in his reply to Zik of Africa thus; ‘… let us understand our differences. I am a Muslim and a Northerner. You are a Christian, an Easterner. By understanding our differences, we can build unity in our country.’
“And the legendary Chief Obafemi Awolowo reminded us that; ‘Violence never settles anything right: apart from injuring your own soul, it injures the best cause. It lingers on long after the object of hate has disappeared from the scene to plague the lives of those who have employed it against their foes.’
“Similarly, I caution all religious leaders in Nigeria, especially those of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), my primary constituency, as a Christian, to de-robe themselves from the garments of partisanship or political parties. There is no need to heat the polity with inflammable comments at his delicate period of our history.
“Religious leaders must necessarily leave politics for politicians, if we want this nation to progress in peace and unity. All of you must agree with me that our people have been wrongly indoctrinated to believe religion is something so sensitive enough to spark violence and killings.”
I’m not scared of kidnappers – Senate Deputy Majority Leader speaks on running from constituency
Reacting to a media report suggesting that he no longer visit or travel to his constituency, the lawmaker said he has been regular to his hometown in Ondo State now than before.
“The said media report is utterly misleading as it did not reflect the crux, essence and meaning of what I said when I visited the Akure residence of Pa Reuben Fasoranti whose daughter was killed by gunmen.
“The misleading report seems more like offside interpretation and off-key inference.”
Speaking with DAILY POST in Abuja, he said he has scheduled programmes in his home this weekend, while promised to honour all.
“I visited my hometown recently and I will visit my hometown by this weekend and next week to attend scheduled political engagements and community activities”.
“The suggestion that I can no longer travel to my hometown does not represent the truth.”
Meanwhile, it should be noted that when Senator Ajayi Boroffice spoke with reporters in Akure, he emphasized the enormity of security challenges and made reference to a spot near Oba Akoko which is said to be regular operational base of gunmen.
During the engagement with reporters, the senator also said government will find sustainable solutions to the menace.
He called for synergy among security agencies and advised security agencies to work closely with space agencies to ensure accurate mapping of possible locations and hideouts of criminals in Ondo State and Nigeria in general.
Nigeria Immigration to capture foreign Fulani in migrant e-registration
Speaking in Calabar during breakfast meeting with newsmen on Monday, he said, “Fulani who are non-Nigerian and other entities who are not Nigerians, but residing in Nigeria will be captured”.
Ezugwu said the Service began e-registration of all migrants in the entire 18 local government areas of Cross River State, explaining that the e-registration was not to find out “Whether the person has a mission or not but to know that he or she is here”.
The Comptroller said the profiling of migrants was even more imperative because Cross River State, being a border state, was a haven for foreigners.
“We are commencing the registration of migrants in all the eighteen local government areas of the state. Every migrant must be captured and profiled so that we can be held responsible. It helps in planning and enhances our productivity, securitywise.
“Cross River State occupies a strategic place when it comes to boundary issues. Our peculiar situation makes it imperative to account for every foreigner in the state,” the Comptroller said.
Ezugwu however said that: “The essence of profiling is not to find out whether he or she (immigrant) has a mission or not, but to know that such person is here. It is not a medium to find out who has overstayed or find out one’s status, but to know where you are.”
He pointed out that there were two categories of immigrants: those who were required to register and those who were exempted from registering.
“There are two categories of immigrants: those who are expected to register and those who are exempted from registration. Those who are to register include visitors staying for more than ninety days; residents who are non-Nigerians and ECOWAS Nationals.
“Those who are exempted are: persons under the age of 18; persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and immigrants staying in Nigeria for less than ninety days,” he said.
Ezugwu maintained that registration was free and appealed to landlords in the state to assist in identifying foreigners living in their houses in order for the registration to succeed.
Pa Adebanjo reacts to Obasanjo’s letter
Obasanjo had enumerated the huge security challenges in the land, proposed some solutions and asked Buhari to act now so that Nigeria can remain one.
But the letter activated a fresh wave of controversy, with notable personalities taking various positions.
However, Adebanjo in a statement yesterday, advised President Buhari to act immediately on the Obasanjo’s message to demonstrate his commitment to keeping the country together.
Adebanjo said: “I endorse what he (Obasanjo) has said hundred per cent. The situation in the country has got to a critical point that needs immediate attention. It is not a question of we shall do this or we are doing this. The thing has got to a boiling point.
“The situation in the country has got to a position where we have to decide two things: are we going to do restructuring now or we are going to do de-amalgamation? It has come to that stage. We are talking of restructuring because we believe under restructuring we can take care of our security if we do it properly then we can stay together. Anything that is not immediate now is just praying for time.
“Mr. President must do something positive immediately to show that he wants to keep the country together and all the complaints he sees to it. They are killing us right, left and centre; kidnapping us; no arrest has been made, not to talk of prosecution. You want to beat us and ask us not to cry?”
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