Nigeria, a genocide theatre waiting to happen – Odinkalu

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Professor Chidi Odinkalu, a former National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, has warned that the level of ethnicity and tribalism currently in display could threaten Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Odinkalu lamented that the country is “a genocide theatre waiting to happen”, and called for urgent reset.

Speaking at the 10th anniversary lecture organised by Just Friends Club of Nigeria (JFCN) in Abuja, he said as long as Nigeria continues to dwell on indigene-ship, rather than citizenship, insecurity might persist across the country.

He identified failure to evolve citizenship and forge nationhood as part of factors fuelling the crisis in the nation, Guardian reports.

The former World Bank advisor said: “Fundamentally flawed political economy is compounded by long-established ethics of deliberate political innumeracy. As a political economy, we specialise in fraudulent counting and accounting, legitimised by instruments and skills of the law.

“In Nigeria today, the only significant minorities are Nigerians. We are all polarised along a multiplicity of lines: Christians vs. Muslims; militants vs. Boko Haram; men vs. women; ruling party vs. opposition; indigenes vs. settlers; poor vs. rich; army vs. police; police vs. bloody civilians.”

He said despite firm prohibition against discrimination in Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution, the social ill has become institutionalised in Nigeria. According to him, leaders are looking at the country’s socio-political symptoms rather than its real underlying illness.

He, therefore, called for a reset.

Earlier, in a welcome address, JFCN President, Fred Ohwahwa, also advocated urgent reset of Nigeria.

He said: “From whatever angle you look at it, Nigeria requires resetting. Be it in infrastructural development, educational sector, health, internal security, the economy, our politics or our value systems.

“We need to reset ourselves at the individual, communal, corporate and government levels. We need a rebirth as a people. Otherwise, we will keep wallowing in the doldrums.”