As Nigerians go to the polls this week, Dr. Seye Oyeleye, Director General of DAWN Commission has called on the Western Nigeria public to focus on the Region’s security.
Dr Oyeleye noted in a statement on Monday that the Western region must be weary of its sustainability as a composite unit and reinforce its uniqueness as a welcoming, tolerant and law-abiding space where the peaceful co-existence and welfare of all residents, irrespective of their ethnic origin and tongue, is paramount.
The Commission added that it aligns with the position of the Southern Governors Forum and that of 11 governors from the northern part of the country in backing the need for a southern successor to President Muhammadu Buhari. Since making their declarations, the stance has gained majority backing and consensual popularity.
The statement further read:
“The Commission, as a development focused agency, readily supports initiatives that promote the development of our space. Therefore, the Commission supports this governors’ stance for power shift to Southern Nigeria, as a necessity to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and engender political stability, without which there can be no development.
“The Commission reminds, particularly, Western Nigerian voters to vote in a manner that guarantees stability and tranquility, thereby ensuring the continuity of various strategic ongoing economic development projects in the region: Lekki Deep-Sea Port, Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos Atlantic City, Cargo Airport, Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, Agro Quality Assurance Center in Ogun State, etc.
“The Commission therefore calls on all Nigerian voters, especially the Western Nigerian voters, to remain law-abiding in this difficult period, occasioned by the CBN’s naira redesign policy and vote peacefully for political stability by choosing among the presidential candidates a candidate that reflect the fairness espoused in the popular position of the Southern Governors’ Forum and the 11 governors from the northern part of the country.
“The Commission is saddened by the CBN’s lack of a contingency plan in executing the naira redesign policy at a time of unbearable fuel scarcity. The combination of these have brought unthinkable hardship – in the form of lost man-hours and economic deprivations – on hapless Nigerians, such as is fathomable only in war-torn countries, thereby fueling protests and other forms of civil disobedience.
“The Commission commends the public figures, who at great risk have taken side with the Nigerian masses by not only condemning the timing of this well-intentioned but badly executed policy but also proffering ameliorative steps. Conversely, we condemn as unworthy of public trust, those who have continued to support it because of morsels of political gain.
“The Commission commends the efforts of our State governors, individuals and concerned groups and their respective state and non-state actions to promote peace and harmony in the Region.
“The Commission warns that it is undesirous that the Southwest Region, or indeed any part of Nigeria, should be made the epicenter of chaos and protest. This Region is open for business and as a way of repetition open to all that is ready to contribute to its continued development; we take umbrage at anyone or group of people who might want to capitalize on the current challenges confronting us as a nation, to turn our space into a theatre of anything goes; the sound and steps of the macabre dance will not be heard nor tolerated and DAWN Commission also calls on all those with influence, including political, religious and traditional leaders, at local and international levels, to exercise and encourage restraint and to refrain from incitement, hostility or violence, even in moments of outrage and frustration.
“We urge the general public on all forms of social/traditional media to act responsibly and refrain from using or condoning any language that may escalate tensions and to constructively scrutinize and be keenly aware of numerous mischievous narratives and postings on social/traditional media platforms,” the statement read.