A chieftain of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Rasaki Popoola, has said the best way to foster unity among Nigerians is through inclusive and purposeful governance.
Popoola said the country should go back to true federalism because that is the best system of government for a big and diverse country like Nigeria.
He said since independence the country has been bedeviled by many crises because of the distortion of the concept of federalism introduced by successive military dictators that governed it.
The PDP chieftain said a concerted effort is required to solve the problem. Specifically, he said one part of the country should not feel that it is superior to the other because under the constitution all Nigerians are equal.
Popoola said: “The elderly among the major tribes should put up on their thinking caps to work for a purposeful unity. We are inter-related. We have built bridges across cultural divides before and there was no cause for alarm.”
Popoola said in the past Yoruba, Igbo and the Hausa were regarded as the dominant ethnic groups in the country “but today the Fulani are being projected as the dominant group in the North and by extension Nigeria”.
He said from time immemorial open grazing of cattle has been in place without hindrance, but in recent times the dastardly acts being perpetrated by herders under the guise of open grazing is generating conflicts among Nigerians.
But, he attributes the development to some political actors who are bent on creating disaffection and disunity in the country.
The octogenarian said it was wrong for herdsmen to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK-47 and that the government must put a stop to the practice.
Popoola said the PDP is trying to intensify its membership drive in Lagos to reposition the party for better performance in future elections in the state.
He admonished eligible Nigerians to register and get their permanent voter’s card (PVC), so they can vote for the party or candidate of their choice in subsequent elections.