Citizens Summit: University don says quest for national unity is not to suppress cultural diversity

A university don, Professor Bawa Hassan Gusau says Nigerians need to be reminded that the quest for national unity is not aimed at suppressing the cultural diversity of the people of the country.

Solacebase reports that Prof. Gusau said that the country is in need of unity in diversity pointing out that historically Nigeria has been facing challenges that threaten the corporate existence of the country.

He stated this in a paper presentation at the occasion of a one-day North West Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security organised by Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Kano.

He therefore applauded the summit describing it as a very good opportunity for Nigerians to collectively reflect on the issues in order to proffer solution.

Prof. Gusau observed that over the decades this challenge has lingered and is currently being compounded by banditry, youths restiveness and economic decline.

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The University scholar from Political Science department, Bayero University, Kano expressed regret that at Independence in 1960 , Nigeria was among the countries with prosperity including Mexico, India and Malaysia which, according to him, have moved on progressively.

On their part, governments of Kano and Jigawa States commended the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations for planning a national summit national integration, peace and security.

Speaking on the theme of the Summit in the Northwest, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue, respect and understanding to resolve their differences, saying the country has come too far for anyone to think of breaking away.

Represented by Alhaji Usman Alhaji, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), at the event, Ganduje said Nigerians should take a cue from what happened in countries like Rwanda and Somalia to embrace dialogue, respect and understanding as the only way to resolve differences.

He stated that the theme of the conference reflected the reality of the country, noting that his penchant for national integration and cohesion informed his desire to give rights to everyone living in Kano to be recognised as indigenes among other efforts which have made the state one of the most peaceful states in the country.

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Also speaking on the same vein, Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru, represented by his deputy, Umar Namadi, said no matter what government and security agencies did to tackle insecurity, citizens must agree and actively participate in the efforts before the issues could be fixed.

NIPR President, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo commended the North-West coordinating team for hosting the summit.

Represented by NIPR Vice President, ACG Wale Adeniyi said similar summits would be held in Bayelsa state for South-South zone, Enugu for South-East zone, Ibadan for South-West zone, Jos for North-Central zone, and Gombe for North-East zone, after which the grand Summit would be held in Abuja on November 25, 2021, where all the resolutions and recommendations would be harmonized.

The Chairman, North-West Sub-Committee, and former two-term chairman of Kano NIPR, Dr. Sule Ya’u Sule, said the regional summit was designed to re-orientate Nigerians and ensure national unity and integration.

He added that critical stakeholders and interest groups have major roles to play towards enhancing the campaign on national unity.

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According to him, “we seem to be having mistrust among ourselves as Nigerians. Why all these mistrust? This is not how we were before now.

“We should not allow Nigeria to slide into anarchy. If Nigeria is disintegrated, where do we go? There time has come when we sit under one roof and discuss these issues.

“We have to identify what exactly is the problem and proffer solutions to them. This is the purpose of bringing this Summit to Kano. All ethnic nationalities in the North-West zone have been duly informed; and they are sending their representatives.

“The presidency is aware of the forthcoming national Summit which will be holding in all the geo-political zones. At the national level, we have discussed with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and he has given a nod to the Summit. In fact, he promised that the Federal Government is ever ready to implement our recommendations and resolutions.”

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According to him, the Summit is purely the brainchild of NIPR as a professional body promoting peace, unity, progress, national cohesion cum development.

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