President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Malam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, has said all the socio-cultural groups “believe in the existence of Nigeria as one indivisible entity.”
According to him, “the hot air that the leaders of these groups blow when they speak are products of anger and frustration at what ought to be that is not in place.”
Sirajo stated this Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the chairman/ publisher of Blueprint Newspapers, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi (FNIPR), at the paper’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “The socio-cultural groups, we know the role they play in terms of generating and sustaining narratives. No matter the agenda behind the narratives you cannot ignore them.
“As of today, we have had sit-downs with Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Middle Belt Forum, PANDEFF, Afenifere, Northern Elders Forum, and we are meeting with Ohaneze Ndigbo sometime next week in Enugu.
“The important and encouraging thing we have come out with in our engagements with these organisations is that in spite of what we read and what we see in the media it is their abiding faith in the country; despite the hot air that they blow when they are talking.
“So, our conclusion is that that hot air is a product of anger and frustration at what ought to be that is not in place. Of all people, Pa Adebanjo was telling us last week that nobody has more faith in Nigeria than him, which was quite at variance with the picture we have of him.
Sirajo, who lamented the lack of trust among the various ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria, attributed the same to lack of communication.
He, however, said the situation was redeemable through communication.
“The NIPR feels that the situation is not irredeemable. We can get the communication component correct; we would have laid the foundation for the return of sanity to the country. We must come together and discuss issues in a sincere and mature manner. There is no problem that communication cannot solve. Virtually all problems arise from either breakdown or lack of communication.”
He added it was against that backdrop that the NIPR was convening a citizens’ summit with the theme, National Integration, Peace and Security: A pan Nigerian Coalition, which aims at bringing Nigerians from different backgrounds.
Speaking further, he solicited the partnership of Blueprint Newspapers in making the summit a success.
Speaking, the publisher thanked NIPR for intervening in the situation in the country.
He said, “I want to thank you for this intervention you are doing to make sure that we have security in Nigeria. Every war, everything that ever happened in the world, good or bad, ends up in dialogue. Whether you like it or not you can fight all the fights, the only way to settle it is that you have to come to the table.
“Unfortunately, some will die, others will get maimed, and property will be lost. We don’t want that to continue to happen. But I think this a very good intervention by the Institute to ensure that people begin to communicate, because it is only through communication that conflicts can be resolved.”
He pledged the commitment of Blueprint towards the success of the national dialogue.