A Civil Society Organisation, Save Nigeria Movement has urged President Muhammad Buhari to immediately set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the many tragedies that have befallen the nation over the years.
According to the group, it has become pertinent to administered justice to the past unresolved tragic event so that true unity, cohesion and peace of Nigeria will be attained.
In a press conference jointly addressed by Mr Solomon Semaka, the convener of the movement, Richard Oduma of Coalition of Minority Tribes in Nigeria and Dr. Ndubisi Okon, Center for Advanced History and Civil Right, it maintained that the sad events have continually widened the gap of Nigeria’s unity based on suspicion among other diverse ethnic groups.
The group further seeks for an open national conservation that will ultimately lead to a lasting and sustainable reconciliation that will heal every ethnic group of the past and create a sense of oneness.
Read full text below:
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
BY SAVE NIGERIA MOVEMENT
THEME: TRUTH, RECONCILIATION, AND FORGIVENESS; PANECEA TO NIGERIA’S NATIONAL UNITY AND COHESION
THE URGENT NEED FOR A JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO NIGERIA’S PAST
FRIDAY AUGUST 28, 2020.
Gentlemen of the press
The Save Nigeria Movement as you all know has been in the forefront of championing the country’s course to national unity.
Our activities since inception have been tailored toward the realisation of this noble objective; returning the nation to the part of peace,unity and progress inspite of our apparent diversity.
So today, we have called you here as critical stakeholders to help us stress and spread the message of unity, cohesion and peace upon which, this country was built.
Only through peace and unity can our national heritage be revived and sustained as a people.
But we can not truly achieve the desired unity we seek as a nation, if certain issues that interrupted and dampened our history as a nation in the past are unresolved.
Verily and truly, that unity can only be achieved on the heels of our collective will and determination as a people to come together and unravel certain historical and circumstantial occurrences that seem to entrench distrust and divide us as a nation.
Our history gives us a disheartening insight into certain national tragic events that happened in the past in our nation’s developmental trajectory that hampered and continues to stunt our desire for true unity and cohesion.
Most of the events are of course negative, and our inability or unwillingness to unravel the mystery behind their occurrence has widened and continue to widen the gap of distrust in the minds of generations before and after us.
Fellow compatriots, until this sad events are reviewed and reconciliation sought, on the basis of truth and sincerity, peace and unity will continue to evade us a nation.
The Save Nigeria Movement in furtherance to the ideals of the Organisation; which is primarily; to enhance, promote and entrench national unity and cohesion has identified a number of unresolved events that have remained a barrier towards the attainment of our collective unity as a nation.
This state of the union address seeks to provide a platform to advance a clarion call on all leaders of thought, statesmen, religious leaders, civil society groups and all stakeholders to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government to set up a ‘Judicial Commission of Inquiry’ to look into the circumstances of the very many sad events that occurred in our nation’s history; especially those events that widened the gap of our unity based on suspicion among our diverse ethnic nationalities.
This address further seeks to open a national conversation that will ultimately lead to a lasting and sustainable reconciliation that will heal every ethnic nationality of the past and bring us together into one consciousness.
Until the call for this imminent inquiry becomes a national discourse, peace and unity will continue to evade us a nation and at a higher cost.
Consequent on the above background, and in line with the wishes and mood of the wider spectrum of the citizens of this great country, the Save Nigeria Movement has upon due consultations identified a wide but limited number of events in our nations history to be reopened for national discourse.
Let me say here that , limited as the issues outlined here may appear, there scope will be expanded to cover other similar events which our secretariat is unable to highlight in this particular address.
This goes to say, we will continue to expand the scope of the issues and unravel more events in the future as the conversation takes proper course.
To this end, and in the interim, the Save Nigeria Movement has identified and resolved to call on President Buhari to immediately set up a ‘Judicial Commission of Inquiry’ to investigate the following events;
(i). The tragic 1992 Airforce military aircraft C-130 Crash in Lagos state in which over 160 senior and middle level military officers and the entire crew died.
(ii). The 2006 tragic occurrence of an air force donier 228 aircraft crash in Benue state that killed about (15) senior military officers and the entire crew.
(iii).The sad incident of Boeing 737 plane crash that occurred in October 2006 in Abuja which claimed the lives the late Sultan of Sokoko ,Alh Maccido , his Son, Senator Maccido, grand son as well the then deputy governor, Alh Garba Muhammad as well as 98 others.
(iv).To : Investigate and unravel the circumstances of the tragic crash of a naval helicopter in 2012 in Nembe Bayelsa state which claimed the lives of Gov Patrick Yakowa, Gen Andrew Azazi and many others.
(v) To: reopen, investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the bombing and subsequent murder of Nigeria’s famous journalist Dele Giwa using a parcel Bomb.
(Vi) To: Reopen, review and unravel the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Gloria Okon and her subsequent mysterious death.
(Vii)To reopen, investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the murder of Chief Bola Ige in 2001.
(Viii)To: Reopen, review and unravel the circumstances surrounding the burning and killing of the Resident INEC Commissioner and his family in Kano in 2015.
(ix) To: Reopen, review and unravel the circumstances surrounding the 2011 bombings of the INEC office in Suleja which killed over (25) people.
(x).To: Reopen, review and unravel the circumstances surrounding the ceding of Bakkasi to the republic of Cameroon and the attendant issues that followed.
(Xi) To: Reopen, review and appraise the circumstances that led to the annulment of June 12 election which was acclaimed as free and fair by both local and International communities.
(xii) To: Investigate and unravel the circumstances that led to Moshood Abiolas death.
(xiii) To : Reopen, investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the persistent and recurring crisis between herdsmen and farmers across the country over the decades.
(xiv) To: Investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Stella Obasanjo, the former first lady.
(xv)To: reopen investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms Arotile , the first female combat pilot the country has ever produced.
(xvi)To : Reopen, review and unravel the circumstances that led to the military invasion of Odi community in Bayelsa state and Zakibiam in Benue state.
(xvii) To : Reopen and unravel the circumstances surrounding the genesis of terrorism in the northern part of Nigeria.
Amongst many others.
Ladies and gentlemen, the events outlined above and many more that are not recorded here today need to be critically and honestly censored for the truth to be laid bare if we must achieve the unity and reconciliation that we seek as a people.
Every issue itemized in this address has contributed to widen the gap of unity in this country. Each of these events has reinforced doubts in the minds of our people. Each of these events have fostered distrust amongst our people.
Our diversity has been reinforced time and again on the heels of this recurring and unresolved issues in our history.
Our collective national direction and trajectory as a people seeking unity has since been lost on account of this unresolved events.
All these have further entrenched hatred, division and promoted distrust amongst citizens and between ethnic groups in the country.
Sadly; but as expected, the tendencies are being transferred from generation to generation thus pushing us farther apart from the realisation of the goals upon which this country was built; unity!
Fellow compatriots, on account of this widening distrust due to unresolved issues, typical of note just for an example, we have in this country; airlines, transport companies, schools, hospitals, banks etc that their patronage/management is determined largely by ethnic inclinations depending on the origin of ownership.
This sad reality, if remains unchecked, poses the greatest impediment to our unity and maximizes the threat to our internal and national security, as well as our national economy.
Our political value system is on the verge of collapse based on the widening gaps of distrust amongst ourselves.
Our bureaucracy is endangered on the basis distrust. We have situations in the country at various workplaces were colleagues working for same government pursue different agenda all on account of distrust amongst ourselves. All of this boils down to lack of healing from past events. Many of which we have outlined above.
Going forward, my fellow countrymen and women, we must begin the task of rebuilding our nation from scratch on the foundation laid by our founding fathers.
We can only achieve this by following the only tested template; which is TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION.
Once again as I round up this state of the union address, we call on president Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a JUDICIAL COMMISSION of INQUIRY to critically reexamine the above issues with a view to unveiling the TRUTH, upon which lasting RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS will be achieved for a more United and prosperous Nigeria of our dreams.
My fellow compatriots.
Thank you all.
Mr Solomon Semaka.
SAVE NIGERIA MOVEMENT
Coalition of Minority Tribes in Nigeria.
Dr Ndubisi Okon
Center For Advanced History and Civil Rights.