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Whittle down ethnic cleavages pulling us apart, Jonathan urges leaders

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to learn from Rwanda on how to build a nation devoid of ethnic bias.

Jonathan in his key note address to mark the 80th birthday celebration of an elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, in Owerri, Imo State, on Saturday, said Nigerians should emulate the people of Rwanda in getting over their national challenges.

The ex-President said Nigerians had been politicised along ethnic lines to the detriment of national cohesion.

He urged Nigerians to use the 2023 general elections to right the wrongs.

He said, “As a nation, we have challenges, but we should not be slaves to our challenges. Let us get over the obstacles and move forward.

“We have to adapt. We must not conform to perceived aberrant behaviour considered to be politically correct.

Let us look at the case of Rwanda, which had a gory experience of genocide; they reconfigured their nation so that in today’s Rwanda, tribe is no longer an issue. They all see themselves as one people.

“The incoming Nigerian leaders must take deliberate steps to whittle down the ethnic cleavages pulling us apart and pulling the nation backwards. So, my appeal to all Nigerians is to de-emphasise our differences and focus on the issues that bind us.

“Luckily, we are in an election cycle; my charge to the youths is to take charge of their future; by electing those who believe in our unity and will promote peace and progress, not those who will erect ethnic walls and religious barriers among our people.”

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