National Dialogue: Abubakar Insists On One Nigeria

A former Nigerian Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has described the opinion of some Nigerians that have called for the disintegration of the … Continue reading National Dialogue: Abubakar Insists On One Nigeria


A former Nigerian Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has described the opinion of some Nigerians that have called for the disintegration of the country as ‘wishful thinking’.

Some Nigerians, in their opinion on the proposed National Dialogue, have suggested disintegration along religious and ethnic lines.

General Abubakar stressed that despite the series of ethno-religious crises across the country, ‘Nigeria will still remain one united country,’ expressing his support for the proposed conference.

He was in Kaduna as a guest speaker at the opening ceremony of the ‘International Conference of Forum for Cities in Transition’ held on Monday at the Murtala Mohammed Square.

In a speech delivered at the event, General Abubakar said that the diversity of the nation ought to have been its strength, but lamented that this unique blessing had become  a source of disunity.

He advised Nigerians to go back to the old times when tribe and religion were the instruments of unity and peaceful co-existence, describing peace as absolutely necessary for any meaningful development in the world.

Also at the event, the Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, said that there was no alternative to dialogue if the nation would march forward and sustain the present peaceful coexistence being enjoyed by its citizens.

He blamed selfish people for the problems in Kaduna State.

“Kaduna is no doubt one of the most complex and diverse states in Nigeria with a plethora of ethnic and linguistic groups, sharing a broad spectrum of religious affiliation and tendencies. Over the years, Kaduna and some states in the north have witnessed several ethno-religious crises, which has polarized the region along religious and ethnic lines,” he observed while delivering a speech.

‘Healing divisions’

He pointed out that the Kaduna State government in collaboration with Forum Cities in Transition, based in Boston, United States organised the peace conference to tackle ethno-religious crises, which he described as ‘man-made’.

The conference, which will last for four days, will ensure comprehensive sharing of ideas and experiences such that those cities in crisis will learn from it.

The director of Forum of Cities in Transition based in Boston, Professor Padraig O’Malley, explained that the Forum was formed to create a platform for reconciliation between communities that have suffered from conflict and are divided along ethnic and religious lines and create dynamics that serve as catalyst for change.

“It is expected that at the end of the conference, Kaduna and other participating cities will contribute to healing the divisions among Muslims and Christians that have enmeshed Nigeria in religious conflicts for years,” Professor O’Malley stated in optimism.