By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Mr. Olalekan Alli has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to the continued unity of the country, despite series of attacks that have threatened her existence.
Alli made the remark on Thursday, during his speech at the flag-off of the National Orientation Agency (NOA)’s programme themed: “Building A People of Peace,” held at the Western Hall Building, Secretariat, Ibadan.
According to him, the unity of the country appeared seriously threatened to the extent that if not for the decisive actions of the Federal Government, the country would have been divided.
“We are all living witnesses of the issue of hate speeches and propaganda purporting injustice against some sections of the country by government,” while reminding Nigerians that the country was brought together as a nation by the fore fathers with the unity of purpose despite the country’s ethno-religious and ideological diversities.
“Today in Nigeria, it is highly disturbing and embarrassing, the recent untoward development and manner in which some organizations and movements showcase their disenchantment with the current structure of the country,” adding that the country has now come a long way than to separate.
The SSG, however, expressed sadness over the unfortunate developments where some expressions were made to denigrate a person, persons or ethnic groups on the basis of subnationality, race or religion in the contemporary history of the country, stressing that this has generated public concern about the future of the country as apolitical entity.
“Quite disturbing is the escalating regime of violent crimes, religious and ethnic tensions which lead to hate speeches. Security challenges, religious intolerance coupled with evidence of previously committed corrupt practices in public places have dominated every national discourse.”
“Rather than concertedly rise up against this bad trend, the instrument of hate speech becomes a seemingly potent tool being employed through the social media to destroy one another on a near daily basis,” Alli remarked.
While speaking on the fight of the present administration in the state against hate speeches, the SSG maintained that Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has at different public fora, decried the destructive tendency of the trend, pointing out that every progressive/development step being taken by the state government was deliberately being misconstrued as anti-people by some people, whom he tagged professional detractors.
He, then, assured the state citizenry of the government’s avowed commitment at pursuing its transformation and repositioning goals, aimed at uplifting the state to enviable heights, among the comity of states.
Alli, used the medium to caution media practitioners/organisations against the use of hate speeches, which he noted were capable of threatening the very foundation of the country’s national and subnational unity and existence.
He implored participants at the event to key into the transformation agenda of the present administration by actively participating in preaching peaceful co-existence and unity of the country for the benefit of the present and unborn generation.
Earlier in her address of welcome, the state’s Director of NOA, Mrs. Dolapo Dosumu stated that for the nation to reach its enviable height was a collective responsibility, which must be embraced by the spirit of patriotism, nationalism in order to have a well formed society.
She pointed out that the sensitization programme was primarily aimed at bringing security consciousness into the door step of all citizens so that they could join hands to build a solid system for combating crimes and criminality in the Nigerian society.
Mrs. Dosumu, then commended the state government for creating an enabling environment for peaceful co-existence in all the grassroots communities of the state.