Dr Nnamdi Onochie, a Public Affairs Analyst has urged President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to use the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr to dialogue with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and other secessionist movements nationwide.
Onochie who was a member of the Delta Think-Tank to the National Constitutional Conference, held in Abuja in 2005 made the appeal in a statement to congratulate Muslims after the month-long observance of the holy month of Ramadan on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, adopting the carrot and stick approach appeared to the best option for Nigeria to overcome its current security challenges.
He said, “In line with the logic of my long-standing position and platform, government should commence negotiations from strength, using carrots and sticks, with Boko Haram, bandits and ethnic protagonists nationwide.
“Current military actions should be augmented with diplomatic socio-economic rehabilitation, to restore popular confidence in government and our 1999 Constitution as amended.’’
Onochie argued that current developments in parts of the country demanded that government must rise to the occasion and embrace any option that would guarantee unity and peace.
He also pleaded with Nigerians to rally round the federal government in its efforts to promote national cohesion and surmount difficult challenges plaguing the nation.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength. The huge length, breadth and multitude of our ethnicities and diverse cultures must be the primary source of our indivisibility,’’he said
He lamented what he described as incessant cases of kidnapping and killings of people, including innocent university students in some states of the federation.
He, however expressed optimism, that Nigeria would overcome the situation and become great.
He added that he was looking forward to being part of the solution in the next political dispensation, stressing that he would bring his wealth of experience to bear in lifting Nigeria again.
“I will reduce the high cost of living in our dear country by 32 per cent and subsequently, through the CBN and money deposit banks, increase the flow of business funding to the real sector of the economy.”
Recall that Onochie, a political stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) embarked on a nationwide peace campaign in March 2020 to promote national unity, amid escalating social crisis in the country.
He has visited many leaders of thought in parts of Nigeria, including emirs, traditional rulers and chieftains of political parties to support his vision and mission.