PGF DG urges parties to discourage ethnic, religious hatred campaigns in Nigeria

Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has urged political parties in Nigeria to put in place measures to regulate the conduct of their members.

He said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue’s allegation that the Federal Government plans to “Islamise and Fulanise” the country.

Lukman said such measures would discourage ethnic and religious campaign of hatred by political leaders in parts of the country.

He said that one of the challenges with Nigerian politics was accountability which he said was almost zero, as people could say whatever they wanted and get away with it.

Lukman said this has entrenched the phenomena whereby the main strategy of opposition to All Progressives Congress (APC) was to silence Nigerians into believing that President Muhammadu Buhari and APC government have failed.

“Even leaders such as Gov. Ortom of Benue whose constitutional powers to mobilise responses towards resolving challenges no matter how small, as enshrined in the amended 1999 Constitution has become a leading campaigner against what he considers Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda.

“As far as Ortom is concerned anybody arguing differently must be a supporter of Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda in the country.

“Which according to him is the continuation of the early 19th Century Fulani Jihad of Usman Danfodio,” he said.

Lukman said it was unfortunate that some people could go on air on national television to allege that people in government, including a serving governor were sponsoring insurgency and banditry in the country.

This, the PGF DG said, highlighted how low Nigeria has descended as a country.

He added that such weighty allegations should be matters of judicial investigation and once proved, all identified culprits should face the full wrath of the law.

“There is therefore, the urgent need for political parties in Nigeria to take steps to discourage ethnic and religious campaign of hatred,” he said.

Lukman said it would however; require that parties put in place internal code of conducts and byelaws, beyond what was in their constitution to be able to discourage ethnic and religious campaign of hatred in the country.

He said that parties, as they were, were weak in regulating the conducts of political leaders and elected representatives in the country.

He said that if Nigerian democracy was to develop and become the facilitator for national unity and political development in the country, regulating the conduct of political leaders and elected representatives should not be left to chance.

“In the circumstance, as things are today, so-called campaign against Fulanisation and Islamisation is more a danger to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) than it is to APC.

“In fact, it more a danger to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and former Gov. Sule Lamido than it is a danger to Buhari or any potential APC Presidential candidate from the North,” he said.

He said it was also potentially a danger against the emergence of any possible presidential candidate in PDP from the South-West, South-East or South-South than it is to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo among others.

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