Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state has condemned the quit notice recently given to Igbos living in northern Nigeria by Arewa Youth Coalition Forum and sued for unity among Nigerians.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, in Yanegoa on Monday, Dickson said it was regrettable that some people would deliberately build-up hatred against fellow Nigerians.
He said that all Nigerians were guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution to live in any place of their choice and pursue their legitimate businesses without molestation.
Dickson said that it was high time the Federal Government showed leadership by designing a comprehensive master plan to reconcile all citizens irrespective of tribe or religion.
According to him, the Federal Government must deliberately build confidence among all the people, give a sense of belonging to all component parts and deliberately return sovereignty to the people to stem the tide of quit notices.
He said that breaking the country was not in the interest of anybody or ethnic group.
“Our strength as a country lies in our diversity and population. We are better off, if we continue to live together as one people.
“This is why the Federal Government must urgently show leadership and deliberately reconcile all sections of this country and address legitimate questions.
“Only leadership can put to rest the tension and hate in this country,’’ he said.
The governor commended the Northern Governors and their Eastern counterparts for rising in unison to condemn the quit notices and hate comments.
He said that the Nigerian Governors Forum was worried about the state of the country and had set up a committee “of which I am a member, to intervene and give hope to the people of Nigeria and resolve conflicts’’.
On the lingering leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dickson urged the party faithful not to lose hope “because PDP will bounce back’’.
He called on those defecting from the party to desist from such action, stressing that PDP was a national institution that must not die.
He stated that the country was in need of a strong political party in government and a strong opposition party, and claimed that such were currently lacking as the All Progressives Congress (APC) was also enmeshed in crisis.
Dickson, who is the Chairman of the PDP National Reconciliation Committee, said that he was speaking out of concern following the defection of PDP members to other parties and reports of party leaders floating alternative political platforms.
He said that if PDP leaders had accepted his committee’s reconciliation template, “a unity national convention would have held this month to elect national leadership’’.
According to him, this would have put to rest the leadership crisis rocking the party.
The governor lamented that some party leaders opted for the court, which could only adjudicate but could not reconcile feuding parties.
He said that political leaders in Nigeria exerted much pressure on the judiciary by failing to do things rightly, “by failing to build consensus and refusing to respect laid down rules of politics’’.
He added that such leaders also branded anybody holding contrary opinion as being “anti-party’’, saying that the implication was that Nigerian politicians had become more ‘‘militant than the military’’.
Dickson, therefore, advised political leaders to stop relying on the judiciary to resolve an internal affair of a party, saying that internal disputes could best be resolved through a political solution.
He noted that the failure of the PDP leaders to unite, especially after the loss of federal power, had weakened the party across the country, particularly in Edo, Ondo, Benue and Lagos.
The governor said that his committee has not relented in the reconciliation and confidence-building assignment in the party, irrespective of the lingering litigation.