The attention of the Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), has been drawn to the drumbeats of war, civil unrest, ethnic divisions, uncouth statements from religious leaders, opinion leaders, politicians, fanning divisiveness and embers of war as well as calls for military take-over of the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari. COCMEGG has also keenly observed the orchestrated campaigns to mobilize the citizenry to rise against the Nigerian state and authorities.
COCMEGG has watched with great consternation, the orchestrated, deliberate media mischief and the changing of the narrative in the public domain to favour enemies of Nigeria against the Nigerian state. This is being done in spite of the efforts of our gallant military that have paid and bear the ultimate sacrifices, the police and para-military agencies to stem the tide of violence across the length and breadth of the country. Indeed the situation is worrisome as disgruntled politicians have taken advantage of the worrisome situation to spew and skew the narrative in the public domain to favour the Boko Haram insurgents and bandits. Their actions and inactions have caused a lot of uproar in and outside the country aimed at the possible overthrow of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the backdoor.
COCMEGG’s worry and concerns stem from the fact that, in spite of the incessant alerts and messages issued to Nigerians on weekly basis by the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria has remained aloof and fallen prey to the plots and shenanigans of fifth columnists, agents’ provocateurs and mischief makers. These include disgruntled politicians who are making unhealthy businesses out of the daily negative narrative orchestrated and overheating the polity unnecessarily in order to cause panic, chaos and distrust for the present administration. We will all agree that there are pockets of kidnappings, banditries and the ferocious onslaughts of Boko Haram against the Nigerian state, but the impact has been over-flogged and skewed to show as if our military forces, security agencies and para-military organizations do not have a remedy or solutions to what is bedeviling the nation, knowing full well that these orchestrations were deliberately carried out by fifth columnists, traducers and enemies of the Nigerian state, just in order to cause disaffection, distrust and divisiveness amongst the citizenry and constituted authority.
COCMEGG posits that the proposed illegal “National Conference” called for, as revealed by the Presidency, should be jettisoned and disregarded at this time. The organization further reasons that any gathering that does not support or include the present leadership of the Nigerian state does not have the support of the Nigerian people, and, as such, should be seen as an affront to the sovereignty of the Nigerian nation, as by extension, a threat to our collective co-existence as a people. COCMEGG therefore calls for the immediate stoppage of the proposed conference, until when convened by the present federal administration.
COCMEGG strongly advises Nigerians to be conscious of the inferences of so-called opinion leaders, religious leaders, politicians and non-state actors who are fanning the embers of civil war. These groups should desist from such and that Nigerians should disregard such statements from various groups of people who are only interested in the meal ticket, personal aggrandizement and nothing more. At the end of the day, the Nigerian populace will bear the biggest brunt of not having a place to run to.
COCMEGG therefore calls on state security operatives to immediately take notice of these groups of persons so that they can be brought to face the wrath of the laws as Nigeria is a law-abiding state. The Coalition hereby seeks the support of Nigerians henceforth, to stop showing viral videos, clips of the military, which being circulated by fifth columnists against the state, so as not to give credence to the decimated and degraded Boko Haram insurgents and bandits. The annoying thing is that most of the clips are not only giving upper hand but serve a morale booster for the degraded Boko Haram against Nigeria’s military forces who have done extremely well to safe-guard the territorial integrity of the nation.
The Coalition calls on all media organizations and civil society organizations to be wary of the orchestrated plans by few international organizations in collaboration with local partners. It will be recalled that this was revealed recently in a statement by the Presidency. The aim, as revealed in the statement, is to cause disaffection amongst the citizenry, which is aimed at triggering unrest and civil disobedience amongst unsuspecting Nigerians. COCMEGG therefore calls on all well-meaning Nigerians that all hands must be on deck to salvage the country and see to it that these enemies of the state are brought to face justice. There stock-in-trade should also be disregarded by all well-meaning Nigerians for collective cohesion and co-existence of Nigerian citizens.
COCMEGG states categorically that the Nigerian state must NOT fail: “This is our country, and we must do anything and whatever it takes to hold it together; promote it and honour it at whatever cost to any collective aspirations. Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must therefore eschew bitterness, sheathe our swords and skewed narratives against the Nigerian state and become our brother’s keeper, and see ourselves as one, irrespective of our religious beliefs and orientation. We have no other country to call ours, but this and we must guide it jealously.”
The Coalition further asserts that: “We must promote peace, tranquility, rule of law, accountability, transparency, and, above all, put the country above self in whatever we do. We should, as well, shun corrupt tendencies, unhealthy accumulation of wealth at all cost to the detriment of the nation and have the fear of God in our daily private and public life for the good of the country.”
COCMEGG urges politicians to be seen to be forthright; religious leaders to always preach peace and harmonious co-existence; while urging leaders to always watch their utterances and guard their statements jealously for the good of the country.
COCMEGG agrees that Nigerians have postponed the evil day for too long and this time; COCMEGG has come to engender the citizenry to believe and hold Nigeria’s leaders accountable to the people in the discharge of their duties in all ramifications. Nigerians have one nation, one future and one country to call ours. Therefore, “we must unite, work hard, be united in all our undertakings, so as to grow the nation.”
The Coalition views the issue of insecurity as a global phenomenon, coupled with the global pandemic ravaging the world, Nigeria is not an exception. However, COCMEGG emphasizes that, “we need to calm down, unite as a people and come together to confront our common enemies.”
The Coalition craves the indulgence of the security agencies to make arrest of killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram insurgents to stem the tide and use them as examples, so as to serve as deterrent to the citizenry that, no one is above the law. COCMEGG further asserts that the beating of drums from war mongers should stop forthwith, as it says, the country cannot afford to go through another civil war, while further advising that secessionist agents should also be cajoled to stop their plots and be brought to face the wrath of the law against the Nigerian state.
It is the strong belief of COCMEGG that, at this time in our history, we need patriotic dispositions, stance, patriotic statements to encourage the government to do its best, while advising that “we should agree that it cannot be done overnight, it takes time, resources, energy and collectivity of all to achieve this.”
It is the position of COCMEGG that, “We need to jettison our political, religious and ethnic affiliations and see ourselves first as Nigerians and become Nigerians for once and face the challenges and enemies holistically; that the time of talking is over; it is time to act for the good of our country by calling a spade a spade. And, we should cease making statements that throw panic, fear but become positive and hopeful for a greater nation of ours, so as to create an enabling environment for inflow of investors for our teeming youths; reduce cost of governance and block leakages in the system.”
COCMEGG is desirous of a safe and peaceful nation, where everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their aspirations without hindrance. “We want to live in peace and harmonious co-existence once and for all and therefore sheathe our swords for the good of the country to bequeath to the next generation of Nigerians.”
OMOBA KENNETH AIGBEGBELE Com. JAMES OKORONKWO
President, COCMEGG Secretary, COCMEGG