Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has urged Nigerians to be wary of politicians using ethnicity and religion to divide the people for their selfish gains.
Falana alongside other prominent Nigerians assured that the country will overcome the challenges bedevilling it because it is a country with wonderful opportunities.
He spoke to journalists during the inauguration ceremony of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN) in Abuja on Saturday.
He said: “This is a country of wonderful opportunities. We have always been united in our diversity. Right now, our country is sharply divided. Christians against Muslims, one ethnic group against another, and these are all diversionary tactics by the ruling class to keep our people divided.
“Nigeria will not be an Afghanistan; I can assure you of that. That is why all men and women of goodwill must mobilise the people to defend themselves. We need to set up a defence committee in every local government because the security people are overstretched.”
According to Falana, the problems in different parts of the country are the same and fuelled by poverty.
“Notwithstanding that the northern part of the country has produced more rulers, poverty in the North, particularly in the North-West, is higher than other regions. This is why our people must be united, the oppressed must be united. The exploited must be united and we must examine those problems that are being used to divide our people,” he added.
He advised the Nigerian government to collaborate with states on the challenges facing the country in order to put an end to the widespread crises and insecurity.
Earlier, the chairman of the association, who is also the Clerk to the House of Representatives, Chinedu Akabueze, said the values impacted on its members by the Catholic Church had always been a great value in shaping their characters.
“Based on our principles and values, we as old seminarians and Nigerians have confidence that our togetherness will impact on the future style of the Nigerian society positively,” he said.