From: Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Leader of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has urged the Federal Government not to take the quit notice given to Igbo from the North by the Arewa youths with levity, saying the issue should be handled with utmost seriousness in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
This is even as the foremost Yoruba leader warned against secession, ethnic crisis and war in the country.
Fasoranti, who spoke in a telephone conversation with Daily Sun, in Akure, on Monday, noted that the Federal Government should dialogue with the Arewa youths calling for the exit of the Igbo from the North, also take proactive actions on the quit notice.
Describing the quit notice as divisive, provocative and sensitive, Fasoranti stressed the need for the Federal Government to meet with relevant stakeholders in the North, including the Arewa youths and ensure that their grievances are met.
Said he, “We should avoid shedding of blood in the north and other parts of the country. The government should do everything possible to ensure that those calling on the Igbo to quit the north are prevailed upon for peace to reign in the country.”
Fasoranti added that “the Federal Government should appeal to those harboring grudge. The government should speak with the agitators in the North and ensure that they addressed their grievances, because it won’t augur well for anybody at the end of the day if Nigeria should experience another war.”
“Have we not seen it before? Have we not witnessed war before in this country. We should do everything to avoid another civil war in Nigeria because the drum they are beating now is the drum of another war,” he stressed.
The elder statesman added that “we have witnessed war before in this country and we know its effects on our economy and national life. The civil war was a terrible experience and nobody prays that the country witness such terrible thing again. The government, therefore must be proactive in this regard and prevent another war in our country.”
Also, Fasoranti urged the federal government to appeal to the Hausas to stop threatening the continuous unity of Nigeria, just as he called for the implementation of the reports of the 2014 National Political Reforms conference, which he said would provide solution to the problems confronting the country.
Besides, Fasoranti suggested that the leaders of the heightened ethnic group(s) in the country should be met, with their grievances tendered, with a view to resolving them in the interest of the oneness of the country.
He also called on northern leaders, especially traditional rulers to embrace peace and dialogue and do everything to ensure the unity of the country.