Obadiah Mailafia, ex deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has accused the elites of fanning embers of war and civil strife.
Mailafia made the accusation while speaking at an online conversation on ways to Fix a ‘Failing State’ on Sunday August 15.
Insisting that the underlying currents of unity are still there in spite of the huge problem the country is facing, the former President maintained that ordinary people have no problem with each other. He also accused Northern elites of being silent on insecurity.
“We’re enmeshed in so many ways. You can’t take that away from us. But today, we face huge problems. In spite of those huge problems, the underlying currents of unity are still there.
“I’m a village boy. I like to listen to people in the rural areas — the ordinary people — and they have no problem with each other. The Fulani that live in my area, they speak our language.
“It is elites who are fanning, firing these embers of war and civil strife. So, if we can look beyond these and gather a coalition of well-meaning Nigerians to put forward a new agenda and new national project, let’s give it a try.
“We have a peculiar disease in northern Nigeria perpetuated by elites. They are very bankrupt, they are very jaundiced, and they hate the country.
“That is what I’m beginning to see, because with all these killings, they are not talking. But when you open your mouth small, they say ‘who told you to say that?’”
He also added that the choice of staying together or going our seperate ways is in the hands of Nigerians. According to him, it is better to separate ways if that will bring peace.
“Having said that, I think the choice is ours. For me, I will say let’s give it at least the last try. But just like in marriage, if people are trying to kill each other in a marriage, it is better for them to be separated for the sake of peace.
“So, if we are going to keep slaughtering each other, then it is better to separate every side and then on their own, the Middle Belt could decide that they want to partner with and join Yorubaland, or Oduduwa and Biafra to become another country. Let that be their free choice and referendum. This would be an option, instead of slaughtering each other.”