A faceless group of Northerners have managed to cause outrage with the three-month ultimatum it issued to Igbo people in the North to vacate the region.
The document and the reactions from all quarters of the country has also provided a number of Nigerian politicians to wade into the matter of national unity, to condemn, to rebuke and to generally fish for relevance. Former VP, Atiku Abubakar jumped on the wagon, so did Twitter Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.
We were secretly hoping to hear from Senate President Bukola Saraki and when he did put out a statement, it was nothing short of what we hoped for.
The brilliance with which he touched on the issue and used it to draw attention to what he considers a major concern in the country is what has us in awe. It almost comes across like he’s downplayed the situation and has taken an aloof stance but that may be a wiser way to deal with it, especially if you’re the Senate President.
Notice how he also blows the horn of the 8th Senate. Can’t miss the chance, can he?
Here’s his statement:
“Let me through you appeal to all our people for tolerance and understanding. I want to appeal that we preach tolerance. I believe that it is our responsibility as leaders, to impress on our people to be very tolerant and let us seek unity.
“We also wish to appeal to everybody that we should in our speeches and actions work for the unity of the country, because you made reference to some of the issues but this is not about who is right or who is wrong, we should always ask ourselves that what can we do to unite our people and mend the fault lines.
“This is very important. I am hopeful, that we are only going through these challenges because of the state of our economy and I believe by the time the economic recovery plan of the present administration begins to yield fruits, some of these issues will fizzle out,”
“I believe by the time we address the economy, by the time we get the economy right, it will eliminate all these tension. Until we get there, we must make sure that we have a country where we are all working together.
“Let me assure you that things that are of concern to you are also of concern to us. And the 8th Senate has shown that in most of our deliberations, we put Nigeria first. The challenges we have in Nigeria are not selective as to which part of the country a person comes from.
“The economic challenges do not discriminate against Muslims or Christians, nor do they favour Northerners against Southerners. I think with that, there are lessons. The economic hardship affect all of us and we must unite to jointly eliminate those challenges.”