Secession: Citizens must not allow Afghanistan crisis play out in Nigeria – JUN

The Association of Journalists for United Nigeria better known as Journalists for United Nigeria (JUN), has asked Nigerians to seek peace at all cost.

Convener of the group, Fredrick Nwabufo, a journalist and columnist made the call in a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, where he pointed out that JUN is strictly non-partisan and is not a pressure or lobby group.

Addressing the press, Nwabufo pointed out that the usurpation of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the ensuing turmoil in the country despite decades of military support by powerful countries, such as the United States of America, is a caution to all on why peace-loving citizens must defend and preserve Nigeria’s peace and security.

He maintained that there is no salvation in the West or in the East, calling on Nigerians, who he described as the potter, to build Nigeria with their own hands.

‘’The events in the country recently call for patriots to rise up and hold the fort. We cannot palliate the enormity of the challenges that confront us as a people today,” he said.

According to Nwabufo, this is the time for Nigerians of all levels to come together and insist on peace, togetherness and unity of the country.

”We must embrace peace-building as a path to peace in our communities. We need state protection, but it is much easier when we are not propagating hate and division.

‘’Nigeria is ours. Nigeria is worth fighting for. As a peace and national unity advocate, Association of Journalists for United Nigeria (JUN) better known as Journalists for United Nigeria (JUN) calls on all Nigerians and critical stakeholders in the country to make the pursuit of peace at this tempestuous epoch in our evolution a bounden duty.

JUN maintained that while it is within the rights of anyone to agitate for secession and self-determination, anyone or group embarking on such agitation must make sure violence and coercion in any form are avoided.

‘’We must denounce violence in all forms by all actors,” the group said, adding that “violence should not be found among civilised human species.”

‘’We would like to emphasise that self-determination is a universal right, but taking up arms to kill citizens and security agents pivots on the bounds of terrorism. All Nigerians should pursue constitutional means in whatever they seek. The cost of war is greater than the price of peace. There are no real victors in a war — only death and destruction.

‘’We acknowledge some of the fundamental issues behind these agitations – social inequality, poverty, unemployment, injustice and corruption. These are issues affecting all the peoples of Nigeria. Every Nigerian is marginalised. And this is a consequence of leadership failure over the years. We ask the government to look into the underlying causes of these agitations – beyond deploying force. We cannot successfully treat the metastasising cancer if we do not surgically address the root causes.

‘’We suggest that the government employ peace-building initiatives, dialogue where necessary and hold out the olive branch when practicable.

‘’*Section 24b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) says “it shall be the duty of every citizen to help to enhance the power, prestige and good name of Nigeria, defend Nigeria”. JUN draws its mandate from this section of the constitution*.

‘’We need in abundance citizens who can be Nigerians. It is our view that only journalists fit into this.

JUN said that Journalists must rise to the occasion and mobilise both the political class and the populace to imbibe our togetherness..

Several groups in different parts of the country are currently calling for breakup of Nigeria and are demanding for separate republics.

While the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and other like-minded groups are holding sway in the South East, the Yoruba Nation, a group demanding for Oduduwa Republic is gaining strength by the day in the South West.

And JUN appealed to Nigerians to put the unity, peace and security of the country above all other things.

The call is coming a few days after Afghanistan plunged into turmoil after Taliban took over the country, invaded Kabul, the nation’s capital and occupied the Presidency.

This happened after the United States of America pulled out its military after spending about two decades in the war ravaged country.

However, Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Dmitry Zhirnov, on Tuesday said he had a positive and constructive meeting in Kabul with representatives of the Taliban.

“These were representatives of the senior management of Taliban in the city. The meeting was positive and constructive. Taliban representatives said that the Taliban movement has the most friendly, the best approach to Russia. They confirmed the embassy’s security guarantees,” Zhirnov said in an interview with Russian state TV channel, Russia 24.

“There will be no obstacles to the embassy’s activities. There will be no deterioration in status compared to the previous government. All our needs will be met,” he added.

The ambassador stressed that this meeting was of a purely technical nature. He said the Taliban representative asked not to disclose his name.