The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has decried the use of religion and ethnicity by fraudulent politicians to destabilise the country.
The National Coordinator, CNG, Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi said this at a 2023 election sensitization conference with the theme “Politics of Sentiments, A critical factor militating development of democracy in Nigeria”.
Charanchi said the protracted social problems and conflicts in Nigeria emanated from the misplacement of religious, ethnic and cultural values by the people.
He said instead of addressing the challenges as they emerge, successive leaderships found it expedient to use them for political gains and to serve their selfish interest of polarizing the regions along ethno religious, and socio-cultural divides.
” The CNG is therefore concerned, and will not fold its arms and allow our future and that of our children be jeopardized by a few.
“As we continue to find solutions to the challenges of managing our diversity and sustaining a stable and united region. One of the key factors responsible for the Sardauna’s success is to be found in his oft-quoted statement to Dr. Azikiwe that we as a nation should seek to understand our differences and respect them, rather than forget and bury them under the carpet if we hope to sustain unity in diversity.
“Today, a minor difference between individuals in any part of the region is instantly given a religious or ethnic colouration. The religious and ethnic cards are ready weapons in the hands of political failures who cynically exploit and manipulate the ignorant masses of our people towards selfish and undesirable ends. We must stop them. We must free the people from their grip and their indoctrination”.
While stating that the northern part of the country is still confronted with challenges ranging from Boko Haram terrorism/insurgency leading to a hike in the population of internally displaced persons (IDPs), arms smuggling, rampant kidnappings, rural armed banditry, communal and religious violence, herdsmen/farmers crises incessant drug abuse; the CNG national coordinator said there is an urgent need to stop the trend.
Charanchi advised northern leaders must wake up to the dangers of the compartmentalization of social frictions, adding that, it is time to emphasise those things that unite them rather than those that divide the people.
“It’s rather sad and unfortunate that, while other parts of the country are busy setting up structures for all-inclusive development plans and strategies towards uplifting living standards of their people, the North, which hitherto has been a formidable force to reckon with, is still grappling with an internal crisis.
“We must come up with prescriptions for the growing ills of ethnic and religious intolerance in our region. The future of our region depends on a new climate of tolerance and understanding of our various ethnic and religious differences.
“The crux of the matter is that electorates must map out their needs and refuse to be deceived by just any politician coming with the usual campaign promises that would never ever be fulfilled.
“The northern voters must look out for credible candidates with a proven pedigree, honesty, sense of nationalism and sound understanding of the current challenges facing the region. We must vigilantly subject every candidate to critical scrutiny by demanding from; him a comprehensive plan of action and extracting solid commitment to reverse the situation for the better” he added.