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Tribal Threats Not Healthy for Nigeria, Says Rawlings

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Former Ghanaian President, Jerry John Rawlings, has advised Nigerians to stop threatening one another on tribal and ethnic grounds, saying such amounts to the invitation of warfare which is not only unhealthy for the country but a disincentive for national political development.

Rawlings said given Nigeria’s multi ethnic and tribal configuration, tribal or ethnic threats were a recipe for social disharmony.

Expressing his disdain for the build up of such threats, Rawlings said he is not comfortable with such negative development, rearing its ugly head in Nigeria urging agitators hiding under tribal and ethnic considerations to forthwith desist from such practices.

Rawlings spoke yesterday in Lagos after attending the 12th Annual Lecture organised by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), Ekiti State branch.

He urged Nigerians to stop the ethnic war and help one another so as to foster harmonious co-existence.

Rawlings advised Nigerians to consider electing people with leadership integrity into public offices.

He said as much as Nigerians desire performance based leadership, the people could sustain good leadership if they vote rightly.

Rawlings said the challenge of governance in Africa bothers on leadership without character.

He said: “By character, I mean distinctive qualities that overcome the challenges we have as constituencies and organisations. Let’s learn to be gracious. I am sad over the mean behaviour of my fellow black man. African countries are plagued with several challenges such as agriculture, deforestation, bad economy, governance, education amongst others.”

He also said he is worried by the classification of Nigeria and Ghana in terms of high rate of corruption by Transparency International (TI).

Rawlings said: “Transparency International shows that countries in the South South region of Africa failed to address corruption and that Ghana and Nigeria rate high in corruption indices. However, some leaders have the will but not the character to fight corruption. The fight against corruption in Nigeria calls for integrity and wise approach so that it will not conflict with the lives of the people.”

He said when Nigeria fights corruption rightly, it will not only do well for Nigeria but Africa and the world generally, because of its population.

“Nigeria has the pride and integrity. Most African countries cannot meddle with you people,” Rawlings said.
In his speech, the guest lecturer, Dr. Makanjuola Owolabi said Nigeria’s past till now can best be summarised as one of bad leadership with mediocrity.

Mediocre leadership, he said is the exact opposite of what Nigeria needs to urgently drive her progress and development.

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