Ethnic profiling, clashes can trigger a civil war, Abdulsalami warns

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The former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar has warned that Nigeria may be heading towards another civil war if the ethnic clashes spiralling across the country are stopped. This he said at the Governors emergency meeting of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) which held in Abuja on Thursday.

The meeting which was attended by the 36 States Governors under the supervision of Abdulsalami, called for a comprehensive review of security challenges across the country to restore peace.
According to The Nation, the NGR meeting ended at 12.30 a.m on Thursday with insecurity in Nigeria as a topic of focus.
After the meeting, Governors speaking through the NGR’s chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi said: “Governors are irrevocably committed to the protection of lives and property in our states. We are full of sympathy for those who have lost lives and properties. The Governors’ Forum has gone ahead to provide some financial support to victims of the conflicts experienced in Oyo and Ogun states where our delegation visited over the last week.

“Nigerian governors also are very clear that crime and criminality should be comprehensively prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic, religious or any other colouration.

“Governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime, knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, whether we are talking of the way youths were profiles in Germany, leading to the world war; or we talking of the way Tutsis were profiled, leading to the genocide experienced in Rwanda.

“We do not believe that crimes are associated with a particular ethnic group. And to that extent, we unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethnic group on account of a particular crime.

“Governors are also totally opposed to the proliferation of fake news, and the abuse of social media. Many of us have seen those fake videos that have almost led to reprisals in other parts of the country and we want to explore both our mainstream media organisations as well as individuals to apply restraint in the way and manner issues relating to security of lives and property is reported…”

Abdulsalami Abubakar who is currently the Chairman of National Peace Committee as described the insecurity in Nigeria as unfortunate urge the government at all levels to commence sensitization of their people on peaceful coexistence.

“Government should try to see how to stop the proliferation of small arms. It is unfortunate governors have found themselves in difficult situations. It is their responsibility to govern, regardless of who is living in their states. It is sad that ethnic profiling is happening.

“You can see the herders are being chased in some parts of the southern states and cattle being killed. Certainly, this heightened tension in the country. You can see some people migrating from one part of the country to their states of origin where they feel safer. God forbid!”

“This is taking us back to the 1960s where we had problem and it resulted into the civil war. People who are old enough know what happened. That is why the Peace Committee and myself are calling for caution so that we do not go back to that road.”

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