Mr Dare Awoniyi has warned southerners not to take the crisis in the north for granted
- The Kogi-born public affairs analyst says the North is strategic to the country
- Awoniyi is the son of Late Sunday Awoniyi, the former chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum
A public affairs analyst and leader of thought in northern Nigeria, Mr Dare Awoniyi has warned southerners in Nigeria not to be indifferent about the crisis in the north.
Awoniyi who is the son Late Sunday Awoniyi, the former chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum made the statement at a book launch in Abuja yesterday, January 12.
The event was the book launch of renowned professor and author, Olufemi Vaughan titled Religion and the Making of Nigeria.
He said: ''If the north bleeds, Nigeria bleeds because there is no town like Kaduna when it comes to a melting pot. Every tribe, village and hamlet in Nigeria are represented in Kaduna.''
He continued: ''We must turn this aggression into development. If we don't solve Nigeria's problems, it will destroy this country.''
Speaking on the book, Awoniyi said:''Religion is about God. When people decide to do for God what God is supposed to do for man, it becomes a problem.
''We cannot fight for God. It is an abuse of God and the concept of God to try to defend God. We should wait and let God defend us. If God is God, let him fight for himself.
''We must continue to think about where we go from here, what we do, with the information that is provided in the book and the instances of the forensic evidence provided in the book.
''We must go back to those values and ideals. When the masses are educated, they will be able to decide effectively what they want to engage it without being coerced into any untoward action.
''Education is the only basis by which sustainable economic development and growth can be effected in Nigeria.''
On his part, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka lamented the fact that many Nigerians have Soyinka lamented the fact that many Nigerians have ''paid the ultimate price'' because of religion.
His words: ''The innocent ones are the ones who often pay the ultimate price in religious crisis. Even religious leaders cannot denounce the murdering acts of religion.
''Religion now induce trauma and anxiety instead of solace that it claims to give. Religion is the ironic product of human inadequacy.
''There is a monster always waiting to pounce on innocent Nigerians under the name of religion.''