Only leadership, truth can heal Nigeria, says Utomi

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Former presidential adviser and co-convener of the National Consultative Forum, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said only true leadership and a quest for truth can heal Nigeria.

Utomi said this in a statement on Saturday in reaction to the riot in Sokoto which erupted after the killing of a Shehu Shagari Student College of Education student, Deborah Yakubu, for alleged blasphemy.

It was earlier reported that the police had arrested some suspects in connection to the Yakubu’s killing, which led to a protest in the Sokoto metropolis demanding their release.

“The incidents in Sokoto in the last two days have opened a deep wound in the soul of our country. The only thing that can heal this deep gash now is leadership and truth, like the sore in the saying by the founder of the caliphate Uthman Dan Fodio, only truth can heal this one.

“Our country is truly at a crossroads and no one who fails to take a stand can be considered worthy of the trust of the people.

As a Nigerian who has grown up Pan-Nigerian in the Northwest, North Central, North East, South West and South-South, and for decades pursued a career in crafting accommodation of one another I recognise clearly that if those who seek power, truly lead, we would not be in this recursive mode of one step forward, three steps backwards. All must now speak up on the future of how we live together. We cannot continue to play the Ostrich,” the statement read in part.

The political economist noted that many would be more inclined to have a referendum than to participate in the general election to determine if the country should remain as one.

“I fully understand the widespread sentiment of many I run into that crunch time in the question of whether to break up or live together in dignity has arrived and that a referendum is more important now than election.

“I am pained by our arrival at this point but cannot ignore the passionate sentiment,” Utomi stated.

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