Obasanjo calls for dialogue
Former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday called for“Dialogues Amongst Ourselves”, lamenting that the present administration is incompetent to deal with national issues.
He said this during a summit organized by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in Abuja.
Obasanjo was represented by a former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Reading Obasanjo’s letter to the participants, Oyinlola quoted the former President as saying,“We lamented the harm that the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, by his action and inaction, has done and is doing to our commonwealth and our common heritage.
“Nigeria, in recent times, has not been so divided along religious and regional lines as at today with inexcusable killings and devastating poverty and with Government’s wringing hands and apparently incompetent to stem the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the order.
“The obvious indication is that the Government is seemingly confused and has got to the end of its tether and the nation is being left divisively and perilously to drift.
“Earlier last week, I noted in a speech some undesirable elements being allowed and being introduced to our democracy by this Administration.
“If these are not stopped, they could be the death knell of our democracy. In spite of this unfortunate situation created by the Government my contact and consultation, which brought me face-to-face with people plights and frustration, also gave me hope.
“People are not ready to give up in despair and leave their fate and their present and future in the hands of inept leadership for their lives to be ruined.
“I see common concern across the nation irrespective of tribe, religion, region, language and social standing that the situation should be retrieved and the nation should be saved.
“My dear brother and friend, Ango, this is why I strongly believe that this meeting, which is beyond politics, beyond religion, beyond economics, beyond status, is for saving the heart and soul of our nation through non- partisan and all-embracing participation to dialogue for our present and our future.
“Because we do not dialogue enough, most of us live in ignorance of one another, burdened and influenced by received prejudices, biases and twisted history.
“The time has come when we should constantly dialogue among ourselves at different levels to inform, educate and enlighten ourselves and dispel bad influences.
“A lot of misgivings, misunderstanding, misconception, misrepresentation, erroneous beliefs and outdated ideas and concepts can be cleared and a lot can be achieved.
“This“Dialogues Amongst Ourselves”, which are starting today, must not be a once-and-for-all affair. We must dialogue often for our collective progress.
“And I have no doubt that this first one will be a huge success. We are in dialogue because we are concerned for our country.
“I will hold myself ready to lead the holding and hosting of the next one at our end after due consultation with you and with others.
“Dialogue removes tensions, clears the air, leads to sharing views and to understand one another’s point of view. It promotes concord, harmony, cohesion, peace, security, inclusiveness, development and progress. It enthrones justice and equity and removes impunity.”