Nigeria has never been this divided – Prof. Gambari

…Says nation at crossroads

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, on Sunday, said that going by happenings in the country, Nigeria is currently at a crossroads.

Gambari, a former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, spoke in Abuja while delivering the 4th annual lecture of the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) titled “Broadcasting and Nigeria’s Ethno-Cultural and Religious Divide: Bridging the Gap.”

He added that Nigeria had never been divided in the history of her existence as it is currently.

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He centered his presentation on the context of the challenges and options essential for stabilising the polity and enthroning an enduring peace, national unity and inclusive democratic governance in Nigeria.

He stated that the real cause of division in Nigeria is not ethnicity, culture or religion but rather the misuse of the elements and the perpetration of inequality along class and regional lines.

He noted that the gap can be bridged through conscious national integration efforts aimed at promoting unity and equitable socio-economic development and democratic consolidation.

“Peaceful and credible 2015 elections were the outcomes of combined efforts of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, individuals and the international community.

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“These forces must again be mobilized once more to build on the gains of the last general elections,” he opined. “The 2019 elections must be the game changer!.”

He noted that hate and inciting speeches have attained new heights by the day, saying unless concrete actions are taken to stem the ugly situation, we will only be treading the path that leads to anarchy.

On his part, the Director-General of NBC, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, said in deciding the focus of the lecture, the NBC looked at the main currents in national discourse before settling on the topic for this year’s gathering.