The Pan Niger Delta Forum has called on leaders across the country especially, the elite, to build bridges of understanding, and not to reduce themselves to “local wildcats”, fanning the embers of discord and hatred, to aggravate the already precarious situation.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, PANDEF said a recent comment by the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, that Southerners should stop attacking Northerners in their area else the North would retaliate was irresponsible and unfortunate.

The statement read, “It is rather most unfortunate and that the governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Matawalle, would make such an irresponsible statement. We’ll ignore that of northern elders because the nation is used to their unguarded utterances but for a governor to make such a reckless declaration is completely preposterous.

“And it conveys how awful the nation’s political leadership has deteriorated, where self-seekers are thrust into hallowed positions, instead of patriots who would pursue national concord, particularly, at a moment like this when the country is facing daunting socio-economic challenges.

“By the reported statement, Governor Matawalle has shown himself as an enemy of peace, for reasons best known to him and his co-travellers.

“It would be needless to ask Governor Matawalle who the killing and kidnapping of innocent citizens by bandits in his state, and other states in the North-West, are intended to provoke.”

“Nigeria is on the edge of a precipice, no one can tell what will come next. What is expected of leaders across the country now, especially, the elite, is to rise to the occasion and build bridges of understanding, and not to reduce themselves to “local wildcats”, fanning the embers of discord and hatred, to aggravate the already precarious situation.

“Let it be known to Governor Matawalle and his likes that no section of this country can arrogate to itself the monopoly of violence,” the statement added.

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