The Federal Government and other stakeholders have been urged to find a lasting solution to the incessant killings and destruction in Benue State to avert famine in the area and the country as a whole.
A former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, made the call in a keynote lecture delivered at the presentation of three books by Amb. Joy Ogwu, on Thursday in Abuja
Mailafia in a lecture titled “The Crisis of Leadership and World Order” tasked the leadership of the country on the need to ensure peace and harmony to accelerate nation’s development.
The former special adviser to the president on Economic and Policy Matters said that killings in Middle Belt were taking on a genocidal proportion and might undermine national food security.
The economist and international development specialist, however, commended the present administration for the efforts made so far in addressing security challenge in the country
He said, “Without peace and harmony, nothing good will come. But without justice, there can be no peace to speak of.
“We are encouraged by the enormous efforts our military, through the leadership of the current administration to break the back of the Boko Haram insurgency.
“However, there are still many more rivers to cross. We need to finish the job and build a framework for a just and lasting peace in the northeast and the rest of the country.”
According to him, there is the problem of the so-called marauding herdsmen who are waging a de facto war in the Middle Belt, which is the food basket of our country.
“These killings are taking on a genocidal proportion, and if care is not taken, may not only undermine national food security but also, ultimately, the future of our federation.
“The task falls on our generation to re-imagine Nigeria as a land of peace, a land of justice, a land of progress…a land based on the precepts of democracy, the rule of law, enlightenment and civilized value.
“We need a coalition of Nigerians who believe in our manifest as the leader of our glorious continent,” he said.
According to him, country’s vocation is to build a first-class technological industrial democracy and to safeguard the integrity and honour of the continent.
“We are meant to be a city set on a hill- alight unto nations. But we can only fulfil that destiny if we reinvent our nation as country anchored on positive science, peace, the rule of law, social justice and humane values.
“In so doing we must remain open to the world, to Europe, Asia and the Americas – building partnerships that promote trade, investments and a rules-based international system that guarantees the security of all nations.”
According to him, this requires nothing less than a new ethos of leadership. We would not only rebuild our world; we will be the salt of the earth-the pillars of world order and civilization itself.