Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar says the ultimatum issued by a Northern youth coalition to the Igbos to quit the region and the counter response by a South-East group is not only provocative, reckless and thoughtless, but also a grave threat to national security and peaceful coexistence.
Reacting to the ultimatum and the counter salvos in a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja on Wednesday, the former Vice President explains that he was alarmed by the latest dangerous outbursts, warning that it does not augur well for the North and the country at large.
According to the Waziri Adamawa, for a country facing threats of disunity, such ultimatum and counter rhetoric at this time is most irresponsible and callous, because it is capable of setting off a chain of ugly events nobody could control.
The APC chieftain warns politicians of all hues to distance themselves from such divisive rhetoric because, according to him, the consequences of such association could ultimately consume them.
The Waziri Adamawa notes that all grievances must be peacefully discussed and resolved through negotiations, and not through threats to fellow citizens.
Atiku Abubakar calls for restraint on all sides by the Youth groups to pave the way for meaningful dialogue on how to restructure our country for the good of all. “Our country is too precious; our problems are too pressing to pander to divisive rhetoric.”
However, the former Vice President appeals to the authorities to address the challenges of youth restiveness, as well as social and economic exclusion, which are the drivers of tensions.
He stresses that the country should not be afraid to confront the recurring clamour for restructuring, adding that burying problems under the carpet wouldn’t make those problems go away. On the contrary, he says, an ostrich attitude towards these challenges “could produce future complications beyond our capacity to manage.”