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OPED: Ending Violence in Nigeria

Originally published in ThisDay Newspaper

By Atiku Abubakar

As the former Vice-President of Nigeria, I am deeply pained by the latest surge of violence and the aggressive approach taken by terrorists operating in our country…

… Extremely disturbing are reports that the few factories in the North that had previously continued to brave historically high production and energy costs, have, as a result of the violence, cut their operations in half or completely shut down. The unprecedented economic cost, however, does not even begin to reflect the social and psychological costs of the violence…

… I call on the Nigerian government to heed the words of security experts, scholars and academics as well as international friends of Nigeria. They have routinely advised for a more holistic and transparent approach to dealing with Nigeria’s ‘home grown’ insurgency…

… It is incumbent upon all of us in positions of leadership to explore additional options that are comprised of thoughtful and constructive mechanisms for bringing an end to the slaughter. Any such solutions should I believe, seek to discourage a culture of impunity for wanton killings and the spilling of innocent blood on all sides.

In addition to the state’s responsibility to its citizens, the Nigerian people have responsibilities to each other. This is what has made the Nigerian family strong. Nigerians must not lose sight of this enduring fact: that despite the challenges, our future as one united country filled with hope, opportunity and compassion for each other is possible.

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