Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity on Thursday said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took advantage of the ongoing #EndSARS protests nationwide to plot a return to power in 2023.
In his weekly article titled ‘IF NIGERIA DIES, HATRED KILLED HER’, Adesina said after 60 years, Nigeria may not move beyond where she is today owing to the hatred by many people, including Nigerians themselves.
According to him, while the concern of the #EndSARS protesters were genuine, they allowed it to be hijacked by external forces especially by political forces who wanted power in 2023.
He added that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was defeated in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections by the All Progressives Congress (APC) also took advantage of the protests to plot a return to power in 2023.
He wrote ” What a week it has been for our own dear native land! Just at the beginning of the month, as the country turned 60 as an independent entity, President Muhammadu Buhari had charged us to “begin sincere process of national healing, eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they are.”
“What began about a fortnight ago as “genuine concerns and agitations” by Nigerian youths against the excesses of the Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police (SARS), has suddenly transmogrified into expressions of hate against the land, leading to murder, mayhem and arson. My sympathy and condolence to family and loved ones of the dead, irrespective of how they came to their unfortunate ends”.
“How can what began as peaceful protests suddenly turn to incipient anarchy as seen in killings, torching of public buildings and properties, storming of the Bastille and wanton release of hardened criminals, and many others. Hatred. Nigeria is one country passionately hated by some of those who live in it, and it had always been so”.
“Some people call it ‘the mistake of 1914,’ in which what used to be the Northern and Southern Protectorates were forcefully cobbled together by the colonial masters, leading to the emergence of Nigeria. Since then, it has been one uneasy relationship among the people that make up the Union. Suspicion of domination, ethnic rivalry, fear of being given the shorter end of the stick, gaining unfair advantage, and the like, have characterized the relationship. And the overriding sentiment is hatred, fueled and justified by many factors and tendencies”.
If Nigeria dies, whether now or in the future, hatred killed her. How can a people go about, bearing giant-sized grudges against their country, its leadership, against one another, and expect that country to live in peace and prosperity? It won’t happen. “When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves,” observed a writer.
The EndSARS campaign began as an agitation against police brutality, in which there was unanimity of purpose. And suddenly, it became a vehicle of hate. Against leadership, against national cohesion, an opportunity to settle political scores, and equally prepare for power grab in 2023. Hatred came into the mix.
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