Wednesday, 14 June 2017

What Osinbajo Must Do to Prevent Looming Civil War - GEJ's Ex-aide, Doyin Okupe Writes the Presidency

What Osinbajo Must Do to Prevent Looming Civil War - GEJ's Ex-aide, Doyin Okupe Writes the Presidency

Former aide to the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has written an advisory letter to the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

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A Facebook post by Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

In the letter he entitled; “The State of Our Divided Nation” and shared on social media, Okupe warned that the drum of war was sounding very loudly from everywhere now, adding that things will soon fall apart in the country if no adequate measures were taken to address the situation.

Okupe advised Osinbajo to set up committees that will approach both Southern and Northern leaders to address the issues of restructuring the country and hate speeches flying about.

He wrote:

“It is no longer news that things are ‘no longer at ease’ in our nation, what we all fervently pray for is that ‘things should not fall apart’ as our late distinguished novelist, Chinua Achebe, wrote in two of his very popular novels.

The drums of war are becoming extremely loud and are sounding from everywhere. The shouts of injustice, marginalization, inequity, nepotism are deafening… separatists movements are springing up from every part of the land.

Never in our chequered history has visceral hate with so much outpour of potent venom been spewed publicly in our country. Certainly Nigeria will never be the same again.

This time around, we have allowed the sword of division to penetrate the very fabric of our unity; even up to its marrow.

Because of deep seated anger, frustration and uncontrolled impudence and widespread impunity, outbursts from various quarters and conclaves have crossed the line of civility.

But we must not allow our sordid and painful past conflict with our present: to do so will be to jeopardize our future, as the saying goes.

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However, Winston Churchill said: ‘Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of deep thinking and confusion of counsel… all these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.’

Your Excellency Sir, this is the time to act and act decisively. If you act now, ‘History will be kind to you because you would have written it yourself.’

It is perhaps for this reason; as Mordecai said to Esther that the Lord God Almighty who you serve deliberately chose you out of the many available persons of stature in Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political dynasty, to be vice president to president Buhari.

What I am about to say next may be seen in some quarters as impertinent.

But I believe that my experiences borne out of closeness to and with two past presidents in moments of severe national distress, compels me all the same to submit my thoughts to you on the present situation of the country, with all humility for your consideration.

Your Excellency, may I therefore suggest as follows:

1. Set up a high powered Federal Government Committee to meet urgently with IPOB and stakeholders in the South East.

2. Let a similar committee meet and team up with a committee of the Northern Governors Forum with the aim of evolving strategies to engage in consultations with Northern leaders and stakeholders.

3. A similar team may closely interface with militants and stakeholders in the Niger-Delta area.

4. Let a strong team from the Presidency, including the Attorney General, meet at different times with the leadership of the South who were members of the confab, and also their counterparts from the North.

The aim of their engagement will be towards finding a renewed consensus on their previously published agreement or at least redefining what is agreeable now and what still requires further consultation and mediation.

Part of the agenda of this team will be to resolve once and for all, the issue of restructuring of the federation.

All the above activities should commence immediately and must be concluded within 6-8 weeks.

Thereafter, the Federal Government will collate all the information and come up with a working document within another 4-6 weeks.

The final document (NOT Government White Paper) is now circulated to members of the Council of States at least 2 weeks before a scheduled meeting which will deliberate on this pertinent national issues and advice the Federal Government on the roadmap to explore towards resolving these national issues.

May the Almighty God direct you which way to follow, grant you divine wisdom to manage these delicate affairs and give you the courage to do that which is right, just and equitable.

May I also at this juncture remind you of our school (Igbobi College) motto: “Omnes Unum in Domino” (ALL are one in the Lord).”

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