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FOR THE SAKE OF THE DEAD AND THE LIVING A PLEA FOR CAUTION

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By: Femi Adelegan This piece was first written and published in Nigerian newspapers in December 2014, at the approach of the Year 2015 general elections when there were threatening clouds on the political scene. The charge in this piece for peace is still as relevant today as it was in December, 2014. It is being republished in national interest. Foremost Nigerian nationalist and patriot, Obafemi Awolowo, in one of his publications: My March Through Prison asserted that we must continue to expect disagreements among people, as Wrangling or contention has a human trait, which will be exhibited under all and any circumstances. He went further even if all our problems were solved by God in one go, with all mankind having enough to eat and to wear; decent houses to live in, sound education, good health, happy homes, big cars, political freedom, godly and truly public-spirited rulers to administer our affairs etc., we will still argue among ourselves, at least, as to why God should bestow His bounty so generously on everyone! In Nigeria, the foregoing is pronounced as a result of civilization, exposure of the citizenry, whose consciousness has been greatly provoked by a high level of political sophistry, as well as citizens increasing awareness of their rights and obligations. Much as this factor has contributed to emancipation, it is regrettably being exploited by the elites to heat up the political space. Various actions on the political plane give cause for concern. The intention here, as the title of this piece suggests, is not to find faults with any individual or organization, but to point out some pertinent steps that could at least mitigate wrangling, and enable us avoid pitfalls of the past, that have drawn our nation backward by several decades. This also serves as a special appeal to all Nigerians, in the name of God, to embrace the option of peaceful coexistence, just as it conveys pleas to well-meaning opinion and religious leaders to step up interventions, in order to tone down the strong influences of animosity that have unfortunately pervaded the political atmosphere. The bond that ties us together stipulates that Nigerians must have an agenda, setting out how they want to co-exist, and the obligations and responsibilities of the State to the organized society. This gave birth to the constitution, which according to Aristotle, is an arrangement of citizens, or as he says elsewhere, a…

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