HUNGER BEGETS ANGER – Mr. Tony Oyatedor
First published in the National Accord, Publication – June 13 – 19, 2011.
Mr. Tony Oyatedor is the president of Newstime Organization and a crusader for peace and stability in the Niger-Delta region and the country at large. In this interview with OGAGA OVIE, he spoke on the present political climate, inter-religious wars, and the way forward for the present democratic dispensation. Excerpts;
Over time, there have been calls for peace. What would you say is the cause of incessant clashes in the country?
In the Holy Quran, Surah 7, or Chapter 7 AL-ARAF which is The Heights or The Wall With Elevations’ verses 85-87. It says And to the people of Median (we sent) their brother Shuaib, and He said Oh my people! Worship GOD ALLAH! You have no other ALLAH, but HIM, (Lailaha illallah). None has the right to be worshipped, but GOD ALLAH. And sit not on every road, threatening and hindering the path of GOD ALLAH, those who believe in HIM and seeking to make the road crooked.”
That is, do not destroy, do not burn churches or mosques, do not kill, only build. If there are clashes in the north, the north alone can end it. It is high time they knew that violence does not pay.
Those who hide under the umbrella of Jihad to perpetuate or ferment trouble will pay for it when the time comes.
I know that my Muslim brothers who are religious who are religious heads frown and frown at this carnage. And they have continually called for peace and I am sure that the president is not asleep.
We at Newstime, would like to congratulate His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan on his re-election as president. His election, no doubt marks a new chapter in Nigeria’s history. Under his leadership, it is time Nigerians roll up their sleeves and work for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
It took Late YarÁdua – a northerner to bring amnesty to the Niger-Delta, it will take a Niger-Deltan in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan to bring peace to the north and the entire nation.
How would you describe the post-election violence?
It is only peace that will strengthen our security. We at Newstime, are offering a message of love and not hate, hope, not despair to Nigerians and people all over the world. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Our agenda for Nigeria and the world is to focused on what we would build not what we would destroy. The slaughter of innocent lives in the North and Niger-Delta must end.
We are calling once again on the Federal, State, and Local Governments, private and public companies to come and join Newstime in this massive campaign to bring peace to Nigeria because peace and only peace attracts development.
Prevention is better than cure. If you prevent it today, you do not have to cure it tomorrow. I am convinced to be God’s messenger of peace, to preach peace to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. To replace chaos with harmony, to replace conflict with peace, to replace hate with love. To God alone be the glory. The entire people of Nigeria must reject political violence, but favor peace that will bring security. For without peace, there is no security.
Do you think the panel set up to probe the violence is the solution? If you were drafted into the panel what possible solution would you proffer?
With the new administration, we must look to the future of a greater Nigeria with lasting peace and security instead of looking at the past with chaos and insecurity.
The fundamental choice for all Nigerians, Niger Deltan freedom fighters and Boko Haram in the north, is the choice between hate and love, the poverty of the past and prosperity of the future, a choice between destruction and building.
These are the choices that must be made by leadership and by the people of Nigeria. My fervent hope and prayer is that we choose peace that will bring security and development.
Leadership should be all-encompassing of the people and not one borne out of village mentality.. Leadership must yield something potential. Leadership must have the ability to think forward.
We are in a world where those who own innovation own the future. It is tenacity that will move Nigeria to the forefront of economic activity in the world and ensure a steady and successful financial future for the country as well as for the people. The people and leadership of Nigeria must stop the ‘the way we have been doing syndrome and instead ask questions such as “How come?” What if? And Why Now”? Life is too short to be stuck in class 1B after 50 years, doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
What really matters now and in the future are the people of Nigeria. As for my contribution, let the government go back and read the solutions I have proffered in the past. It is highly regrettable that our leaders do not read.
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