Nigeria won’t disintegrate – Lalong

From Gyang Bere, Jos

Chairman Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong said despite the agitations for secession in different parts of the country, Nigeria will not collapse.

He noted that democracy has come to stay and urged Nigerian youths to encouraged credible individuals to offer themselves into leadership positions.

Lalong disclosed this on Saturday night during a lecture to mark democracy day in Plateau state, held at the new Government House, Rayfield, Jos.

“Let me reemphasize that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria and we must all work to sustain it. Those who are in authority must lead by example and make sacrifices for the general good.

“Contrary to the negative narrative by a few voices, Nigeria will not collapse or disintegrate. Let us not dwell on our ethnic, religious, political and ideological differences but embrace our diversity which is our greatest strength.

“When we stand together and promote justice, equity, fairness and tolerance to one another, there will be no limit to the greatness of Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole.”

Lalong who received the report of the Committee on special investigation panel on Police brutality and extra-judicial killings, headed by Hon. Justice Philomena Lot that was set up after the ENDSARS protests in the state, said the state government will implement the recommendations that concerned the state and will push those that concerns Federal Government for implementation.

“The submission of the report by the Special Investigative Panel on Police Brutality which we set up after the ENDSARS Protests last year is another demonstration of our commitment to look into the grievances of the youths and address them.

“We believe that dialogue and engagement with the youths will help in building patriotism in them, and making them active players in the democratic process.

“I want to assure both the Panel and those who appeared before it, that we shall implement the recommendations that relate to us as a State and forward those that relate to the Federal Government or its agencies appropriately.”

He appreciated the media for working in the sustainance of peace and democracy in the country and caution against the usage of the media to propagate falsehood, particularly the social media.

“We know the important role the media plays in sustaining democracy and fighting authoritarianism and despotic tendencies.

“Nevertheless, it is expedient for me to draw attention to the worrying situation where a section of the conventional media and to a large extend the social media is becoming a threat to democracy. People who want to pursue their personal interests are using some section of the media without responsibility.

“They go about propagating falsehood, fake news, incitement and refusing to abide by professional code of ethics. Sometimes when you follow what some people put in the social media, you wonder whether they believe in Nigeria.

“We should always remember that freedom does not take away responsibility. Without a safe and secure Nation, we cannot talk about democracy. There are many examples we can learn from. Let us be careful and guard our democracy jealously.” He stated.