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Presidency names ‘biggest challenge’ to Nigeria

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The biggest challenge to Nigeria is “…from the mindsets and entities rooted in the idea of violence as a means to change,” a presidential aide has said.

Garba Shehu, spokesperson to President Muhammad Buhari, said this in a statement Sunday night.

Mr Shehu said he was reacting to a statement by a former military chief, Alexander Ogomudia.

The retired general reportedly said ‘Nigeria may be restructured violently.’

In his response, Mr Shehu said Mr Ogomudia’s statement “speaks volumes about the mindset of groups of citizens who have yet to accept democracy as a form of government.”

Read the full statement by Mr Shehu below.

We react to the statement credited to a former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (rtd) who submitted that, ‘Nigeria may be restructured violently.’

This vituperation, coming from a former military chief speaks volumes about the mindset of groups of citizens who have yet to accept democracy as a form of government.

It is very important to stress that we as a nation, are a constitutional democracy and changes to the country in structure, its systems, policy and politics must abide by the norms of democracy, otherwise they would be extrajudicial and therefore unconstitutional.

This system has subsisted, uninterrupted, for upward of 20 years and still going, and the country’s law courts, with its armed forces are primed at all times to defend it using all means that are lawful.

The biggest challenge to the country today is not necessarily from perceived regional or state imbalances or conflicts between the government at the centre and states but from the mindsets and entities rooted in the idea of violence as a means to change.

Such individuals, groups and entities peddling ideologies of violence and hate are closed to the notion of healthy dialogue through popular platforms including elected parliaments, hence only open to violence and destruction as their means.

This administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is strongly of the view that democracy that is self-correcting under the laws as we have is the answer to growing calls for violence and a means to change in the structure, form and content of the union that binds us as one country.

Equally important is to deny the General’s assertion that nothing had been done on the unfortunate gruesome murder of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, a former Chief of Defence Staff. Truth is, the investigation instituted by General Olonisakin, the current Chief of Defence Staff, has led to the arrest of 14 suspects based on their alleged involvement in a report that has been sent to the police and the Nigeria Air Force for further action.

– Premium Times

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