The Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum has warned groups in the country against making inflammatory statements that can heat up the polity ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The forum’s Secretary General, Mr Akin Malaolu, was reacting to comments credited to the President of Ohaneze Indigbo, Chief John Nwodo, on President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day broadcast.
In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Malaolu described Nwodo’s comments as capable of igniting passions across the country.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo faulted Buhari’s nationwide broadcast, where he vowed to deal with killer herdsmen and their sponsors.
The statement by the Ohaneze president’s media aide, Mr Emeka Attamah, described Buhari’s speech as a mockery of the situation.
It added that the President trivialised the killing of Nigerians in the churches and their homes by armed herdsmen by referring to such incidents as farmers/herdsmen clashes.
“We are amazed by the meanings placed on words in the President’s Democracy Day address to Nigerians by the president of Ohaneze group, Chief Nwodo,” he said.
Malaolu added that the misuse of word could lead to chaos, disrespect to lawful orders and even degenerate into “spasms of communal bloodlettings”.
“We must warn at this stage, that making inflammatory statements for political reasons in our diversity are injurious to Nation building.
“Ohaneze must look back to seasons of quit notices issued against different tribes which almost created panics if not for the quick intervention of Mr President at his return from medical vacation abroad.
“Nigerians are looking for peace and prosperity, it will not be in the interest of any individual or group to stagnate them,” Malaolu said.
He said that the security agents are showing better display of respect to their Commander-in-Chief through the supreme sacrifices they have made in order to bring lasting peace to the country.
He noted that sympathy visits had taken place by high profile Federal Government delegations to some states recently affected by crises.
“What else would assuage frayed nerves or should be more important than for Government to make arrest of killers and their sponsors,” he asked. (NAN)