Odinkalu, Egwu, 71 Other Eminent Nigerians Ask FG to Deal with Agents of Hate

Chidi Odinkalu

by Frederick Nwabufo,

Chidi Odinkalu, human rights activist; Sam Egwu, former Eboniyi state governor, and other eminent Nigerians have asked the government to deal firmly with those who promote hate and violence.

They expressed hope in the country, declaring “we are all Nigerians”.

The charge is coming hours after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo met with northern leaders in Abuja, where he said the government would resist every attempt to spread hate in the country.

Lately, Nigeria has been on the cusp of ethnic tension. While pro-Biafra campaigners are calling for an independent state of the south-east, some northern groups last week asked the Igbo resident in the region to leave within three months.

In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by 73 distinguished Nigerians, the group said the recent drums of division, violence and intolerance beating across the federation underscored the growing frustrations of Nigerians everywhere.

“A peculiar brand of toxic communication has enveloped our public affairs, threatening to pollute the relationships of people and communities that have – despite occasional challenges – largely co-existed in relative peace with one another,” the statement read.

“Voices of agents of violence and division now command the most attention from both within and beyond government. A growing sense of uncertainty and fear begs for immediate action to reassure Nigerians that there is a clear pathway to equity, unity and security.

“All these take place at a time when our country is going through a difficult period of uncertainty. Communities live with a sense of deepening insecurity while citizens feel an equal threat to their livelihoods, together leading to pervasive sense of institutionalised inequities, rising hate and deepening division. The frustrations triggered by these challenges can easily get out of hand or be exploited by the recklessness of desperate politicians and identity entrepreneurs or their agents. This cannot be allowed.

“These developments are the cumulative result of leadership failures and poor choices over the years at various levels, including government, political parties, security agencies, business, traditional institutions, communities, places of worship, schools, and civil society across the country.

“The consequences of these failures now confront us as a people with an existential threat of potentially profound significance. Inspired by this realisation, we believe it is important to evolve an agenda of urgent steps to address these rumblings of discontent and division.

“Against this background, we the undersigned Nigerians, driven by our faith in the potential of Nigeria and our appreciation of the value that each and every Nigerian has in making it a country we can all be proud of, have come together to make this statement. We are bound together by shared values of belief in unity, equality, justice, responsible citizenship, the inherent worth of every human being and, most importantly, by commitment to shared bonds of friendship and citizenship which transcend religion, ethnicity or other narrow identity. We are, to put it simply, all Nigerians.

“Troubled by the state of affairs in our country we wish to state that: The Federal Republic of Nigeria is richly endowed and all communities found in it belong to it. All citizens and communities as well as succeeding generations of Nigerians, without discrimination on any grounds such as political or other opinion, origins, religion, gender or status have an equal stake in sustaining and improving the many bonds that connect us.

“Government at all levels, including federal, state and local government, must take urgent steps to address the prevailing economic situation and stem the growing patterns or perceptions of chronic inequity, alienation and discontent across the country.

“Government at federal, state and local levels has the primary duty to secure public safety and well-being and show that Nigerian lives matter. Accordingly, it must enlist the full support and participation of Nigerians everywhere in confronting the underlying causes and growing incidents of violence, division and hate wherever these occur. Individuals or groups who by their words or other conduct constitute threats to lives and property of Nigerians or to our collective coexistence should be dealt with swiftly, firmly, lawfully and without discrimination on any grounds such as political or other opinion, origin, religion, gender or status.”

The group also called on civic groups, including those founded on identity such as faith or ethnicity, to discourage hate, division and violence.

“Together with the media, including social media, we all have a duty to amplify voices of reason over and above the voices of division. We must not subscribe to or sustain the emergence of a single narrative of strife and hate amongst Nigerians,” they added.


  • Ambassador Fatima Balla, mni
  • Professor Adele Jinadu
  • Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman
  • Y.Z. Y’au
  • AVM Andy Giwa Tsakr (Rtd.)
  • Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
  • Ayo Obe
  • Dr. Chris Kwaja
  • Femi Edun
  • Saka Azimazi
  • Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani)
  • Professor Awwal Yadudu
  • Kola Awodein, SAN
  • Ayisha Osori
  • Innocent Chukwuma
  • Dr. Kole Shettima
  • Yemi Candide-Johnson, SAN
  • Ini Abimbola
  • Musikilu Mojeed
  • Dr. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu (pictured)
  • Col. Kingsley Umoh
  • Dr. Hussaini Abdu
  • Hubert Shaiyen
  • Ibim Semenitari
  • Dr. Ayesha Imam
  • Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed
  • Mabeiam Gloria Ballason
  • Abdulkhalid Ali Baba
  • Mohammed Sani
  • Habiba Balogun
  • Adeshina Oke
  • Ezenwa Nwagwu
  • Usman Abdullahi
  • Franklin Acho Nlerum
  • Niyi Yusuf
  • Jaye Gaskiya
  • Solomon Uwaifo
  • Mohammed Sabo Keana
  • Hassan Usman
  • Ifeoma Malo
  • Segun Olukoya
  • Udo Jude Ilo
  • Ige Igeoluwa
  • Muhammad Ibrahim
  • Abiodun Baiyewu
  • Prof Mohammed Yahaya Kuta
  • Ozolua O. Giwa-Amu
  • Professor Mohammed Kuna
  • Chido Onumah
  • Prof. Sam Egwu
  • Dr. Clement Adibe
  • Barnabas Omali
  • Nike Desouza
  • Dr. Amina Salihu
  • Dr. Jude Ohanele
  • Mohammed Alfa
  • Oladayo Olaide
  • Idayat Hassan
  • Orode Doherty
  • Fidelis Duker
  • Ifeoma Fafunwa
  • Sutura Aisha Bello
  • Wole A. Akande
  • Kunle Ajagbe
  • Atose Aguele
  • Gbenga Sesan
  • Hamza Grema Mohammed
  • Prince Paul Adelabu
  • Chris Enete
  • Roz Ben-Okagbue
  • Martin Obono
  • Hamza Atta
  • Professor Adesoji Adesugba
  • Akeem Baiyewu
  • Omu Obilor
  • Dapo Olorunyomi
  • Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim
  • Ifiok Babatolu
  • Clement Nwankwo
  • Fawzia El-Nur
  • Mohammed Bello Tukur
  • Nnanna Ude
  • Aisha Waziri Umar
  • Ololade Bamidele
  • Oluyemi Ojudu
  • Sola Olorunyomi
  • Dapo Oyewole
  • Jiti Ogunye
  • Olande Atere
  • Ifeanyi Uddin
  • Olaposi Tubosun
  • Dr. Tunji Olaopa
  • Odion Omonfoman
  • Seun Kolade
  • Chris Ngwodo
  • Professor Toyin Falola
  • Efe Paul Azino
  • Godwin Onyeacholem
  • Innocent Chukwuma
  • Idris Akinbajo
  • Femi Osofisan
  • Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú
  • Bashir Ayodele Ameen
  • Rockson Igelige
  • Bolaji Okusaga
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