The former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), has advised governors across the country to be careful of what they say to avoid unnecessary tension.
The former military leader maintained that the 36 governors should make sure that there is law and order in their states and that they watch their utterances because what they say could be taken by people as an order.
Abubakar, on Arise Television on Thursday, stressed that governors should not say anything that would be misread, or meant that they should be fighting people who are not of their state of origin. The former head of state said: “There must be a dialogue between the governors and the people who they feel are committing the crime in their area. “Certainly, anyone who commits a crime should be arrested and prosecuted.
It is the responsibility of the governors to save the lives and property of all Nigerians who are living within their states.” He added: “The governors have found themselves in difficult situations and it is their responsibility to govern the state regardless of who is resident there.
“It is sad that suddenly earthly disharmony is rearing its head all over the place.
You see that in some Southern states where some people were seen leaving the region, certainly, this will heighten tension in the country, and it did.
“You could see some people are migrating from some parts of the country back to their states where they feel safer.
“God forbid, this is taking us back to the 1960s where the problem resulted in a civil war.
“That is why the Peace Committee and I are calling for caution so that we do not go back to the road.”
The retired General said that in the statement they issued as members of the National Peace Committee, they cautioned the governors on the need for peace in the country.
“We told them that they need to sit down and discuss among themselves.
It is necessary for the governors, in their forum, to sit down and analyze the problems and proffer solutions.
“It is absurd for a governor to wake up, call the media and just say what he wants to say.
They should work in harmony,” he said. While talking about the role of the National Peace Committee in ensuring peace in the country, Abubakar said that they were mobilizing the public also to give peace a chance.
He stressed that Nigerians had been living in harmony all through the years and so the public had a responsibility to provide intelligence to the government in fighting insurgency.
“All over the world there is the problem of herders and farmers clashes, especially in Africa, but some countries have found solutions to that and Nigeria can learn from them on how to end this problem.
“In Niger State, for example, we have been able to create ranches and this has helped to minimize clashes.
“On the part of the government I think they should try to control the proliferation of small arms into the country,” Abubakar said.