The Buhari Media Organisation has hailed convener of the two-day roundtable, on national security, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, for quietly spearheading the quest for peaceful co-existence in the country, without heating up the polity.
According to the group, “this was the path former Heads of State were expected to toe, based on their national profile, rather than triggering bellicosity that could further widen the nation’s fault lines”.
The group made the commendation in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The group said that the move by Abdulsalami is worthy of emulation, by former leaders and any Nigerian aspiring to leadership position in the country.
It said: “Not many Nigerians were aware that the former Head of State, through the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies was working on a Peace Summit until some of the invited groups brought it into the public domain.
“And this was at a time another former leader Olusegun Obasanjo, was also in the public eye for an open letter in which he tacitly upbraided an entire ethnic group, over some grievances which he suggested could be resolved at a National conference.”
BMO noted that rather than take a similar route with (Obasanjo), Abdulsalami ensured that participants representing various interests, as well as those with different perspectives on the emerging security challenges, showed up in Minna, Niger State.
It added that the meeting was to proffer solutions for a united and peaceful Nigeria.
It said: “We are urging Chief Obasanjo to consider emulating Abdulsalami’s unifying peace initiative and peaceful disposition, rather than the divisive efforts he had in recent times been engaged in.”
The group added that the divisive effort deployed by Obasanjo was bound to dent his credentials as a respected and unbiased national figure.
BMO commended individuals and groups that participated at the two-day national security summit and had harsh words for those who did not show up.
It added: “Our message for eminent Nigerians from all walks of life who turned up in Minna, is that their contributions to peaceful co-existence would be etched in gold, because there is no alternative to dialogue in resolving conflicts.”
The group said Nigerians would also not forget that socio-cultural groups, which did not honour the invitation, as their decision could be interpreted to mean that they rejected peace.
It added that it knows that the driving force for the attitude of these groups is hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari.