PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, have been very vocal in their calls for Nigeria to avoid “another civil war”.
At the 2021 Bola Tinubu Colloquium, Buhari reminded Nigerians how he fought in the 1967-1970 civil war and witnessed its horrors. He said Nigerians are better together than apart.
Just last week, Osinbajo also painted a vivid mind’s eye picture of what a war could bring. He said: “Everyone who thinks they have some monies stored up somewhere will eventually run out of money. Everyone who thinks they can hide somewhere won’t even have a place to hide. In the end, everyone will suffer…we cannot afford a war in this country, we can’t afford it”.
The looming threat is beyond anything that can be imagined now. Boko Haram and its Islamic State in West Africa, ISWA, counterparts are making territorial gains in the North East and Niger State. The Bandits of the North West have ramped up their abductions and sacking of communities.
The Biafra secessionists in the South East and parts of South-South have also increased their attacks on armed pastoralist invaders and the armed forces/police whom they see as facilitators of a perceived ethnic conquest attacks.
The situation in the South West with regard to the menace of armed ethnic expansionists in the forests is like the calm before the storm.
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We totally agree that unless this ugly situation is arrested immediately, Nigeria could tumble into the worst form of civil war. Our first civil war lasted for only 30 months because it was a concerted conventional effort by the whole federation, with international support against a small section. But the threat that faces our future is that of multi-frontal wars which few nations have ever survived. Even when they do, they are like a person who has experienced mental illness: never quite normal again.
The wars in the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Iraq, Afghanistan and others either led to painful disintegrations or left the countries weak, bleeding and with near incurable ulcers.
Should the brewing conflicts explode in Nigeria, what Osinbajo described will be a child’s play. Nigeria with 200 million people under countless warlords will overwhelm Africa and the world with humanitarian misery!
The time to pull Nigeria back from the precipice is now! President Buhari must quickly halt his extreme nepotism machine and give every section of this country a sense of belonging in the Nigerian commonwealth. The perceived tacit official support for ethnic expansionism must stop. The invaders must be removed from our forests.
With the valiant Nigerian spirit restored across board, we can overcome any insurgent threat to our nationhood, including jihadist terrorism.
If we do not act now, we shall regret our collective folly.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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