No to regional govt, yes to sincere federalism – CAN
By Ummi Ismaeel,
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Niger State has said that those agitating for regional government were drawing the country backward.
It also challenged the President Muhammadu Buhari government to ensure that the federal system of government in place was devoid of favouritism but fair and just for all Nigerians from the 36 states federating units.
The Niger State CAN Chairmanin, Rev. Matthias Echioda, said in Minna that those clamouring for regional considerations were drawing Nigeria back to the pre-independence era when Nigerians were yet to discover who they were as a people.
He said that Nigeria at over 50 years as a nation cannot be talking about regional government because that will promote division and distrust among the federating units, saying, “Regional government is not only outdated but breeds tribal, religious and cultural sentiments”.
“As a multi-religious, multi-cultural country that has existed for over 50 years bonded together by God, what we should be thinking about now is how we can build bridges of understanding across religious, tribal and socio-cultural divides with outmost sincerity”, Echioda said.
According to him, “All that is required is for the federal government to be sincere and without sentiments in dealing with some sensitive national issues to ensure that no particular region is left out. Genuine nationalists should be brought on board to formulate policies that would guarantee national unity and not regional champions”.
In addition to engaging true nationalists, the Clergy man said parents particularly mothers should spend quality time with their wards to inculcate in them the need to embrace and respect the religious belief, culture and traditions of one another for peaceful coexistence.
Echioda apparently reacting to the series of militant killings involving youths, killing of Emmanuel Methodus and a pastor’s wife in Kano over alleged, ‘religious blasphemy’ said the circularity of Nigerian state should be preached and sounded into the minds of every youth to keep them from taking laws into their hands over issues of religion.
According to the CAN chairman, ‘what the country needed most is value and socio-cultural re-orientation that will compel every citizen both young and old to know that Nigeria belonged to all law abiding Nigerians irrespective of tribal, religion and political differences’.
“A child that is not cared for becomes a menace and brings about shame to family, community and the larger society, Nigeria and that is why I strongly advocate that parents should play their role in nation building by educating their wards on the need to respect the sanctity of life, respect other people’s religion and tradition”.
The CAN chairman also cautioned the federal government against policies that would create confusion in the education sector such as, relegating to the background core teachers and appointing non-professionals to teach some sensitive core subjects in schools.
Bringing in people who are not well versed in Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) or Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) to teach will not only sound catastrophic for a multi-religious country as Nigeria but will intend bringing about imprisoning the conscience of adherents of either of the two most popular religion in Nigeria.