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Arewa Peace And Unity Meeting: Moving The Talk Forward

By on December 12, 2011

There is rumbling in Nigeria’s underbelly. Our nation is at a crossroad and even at that we still have the opportunity like never before to create a great future. At last week’s Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Peace and Unity Meeting, various stakeholders were grieving about the state of the north and the nation at large. There is this troubling feeling about the future of the state. From the utterances and recent happenings, our state is facing challenging times and certainly this phase will pass.

First, we think we can begin by rebuilding trust. Arewa Peace and Unity meeting is a fine step towards addressing pressing northern and national challenges. We think we can extend the conversation further by a state of the union discussion designed to entrench peace and correcting national injustices.

The recurring religious, ethnic and political conflicts that have swept the north and the fallout from declining living standard can be corrected, not by a single shot but by a concerted effort by all northern stakeholders. Without ambiguity, the northern needs a Marshall Plan to tackle its decaying socio-economic life and finally bring it into competitiveness in the national sphere.

Second, the depth of decay and distortions cannot be corrected suddenly. It will take time but we all will be better for it. We cannot just gain trust considering the depth of regrets, disdain and failures that have arisen from this issue. The key is a sincere heart and systemic approach that is anchored on genuine but difficult work, sacrifice and the pursuit to collectivism that addresses our concerns and not hid them; but for our good and ascendance as a nation that has can overcome her differences and leverages same for national glory.

Third, the north needs an immediate improvement in the quality of life. We cannot wait for anyone. We have to begin the process and accomplish this fervent goal with candour. The north of legendary agricultural glory needs to retrace its footsteps but this time not in speeches but in felt result. Grounding poverty makes us all an endangered species whether in the north or in other parts of the country, we have to fight to bring in the good life to Nigerians and whichever geographical areas they reside.

In all, we have to incorporate the tenet of cooperation, service to humanity and collectivity and humaneness into our curriculum and in every aspect of our national life. Free and compulsory education at the nursery, primary and secondary school levels is indispensable. We have to check the influx of mercenaries from other countries who have tarnish our national image and rendered same in ridicule. Desertification can be address by massive greening projects and religious tolerance should be pursued with vigour.