Elites fanning embers of war in Nigeria, says Mailafia
Former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia has stated that elites not ordinary citizens are the ones fanning embers of war in the country.
This was stated on Sunday by Mailafia during an online coversation – ‘The Toyin Falola Interviews’ — with the theme: ‘Nigeria: How to Fix a Failing State’.
According to the former CBN deputy governor, the “ordinary people” in the country do not have issues with each other, adding that despite the challenges, citizens still find ways to remain united.
“We’re enmeshed in so many ways. You can’t take that away from us. But today, we face huge problems. In spite of those huge problems, the underlying currents of unity are still there,” he said.
“I’m a village boy. I like to listen to people in the rural areas — the ordinary people — and they have no problem with each other. The Fulani that live in my area, they speak our language.
“It is elites who are fanning, firing these embers of war and civil strife. So, if we can look beyond these and gather a coalition of well-meaning Nigerians to put forward a new agenda and new national project, let’s give it a try.”
Mailafia said the choice to stay together as a nation or to be divided is in the hands of Nigerians, adding that it is better to separate ways if that will bring peace.
“Having said that, I think the choice is ours. For me, I will say let’s give it at least the last try. But just like in marriage, if people are trying to kill each other in a marriage, it is better for them to be separated for the sake of peace,” he added.
“So, if we are going to keep slaughtering each other, then it is better to separate every side and then on their own, the Middle Belt could decide that they want to partner with and join Yorubaland, or Oduduwa and Biafra to become another country. Let that be their free choice and referendum. This would be an option, instead of slaughtering each other.”
Commenting on the problems facing the northern part of the country, he noted that the “peculiar disease” facing the north is perpetuated by elites who do not like the country.
He also accused the elites in the north of being silent on insecurity.
“We have a peculiar disease in northern Nigeria perpetuated by elites. They are very bankrupt, they are very jaundiced, and they hate the country,” he said.
“That is what I’m beginning to see, because with all these killings, they are not talking. But when you open your mouth small, they say ‘who told you to say that?’”
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