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DON'T PLUNGE NIGERIA INTO CRISIS -OLUSOLA WARNS POLITICIANS

By NBF News
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Nigeria's former ambassador to Ethiopia, Chief Olusegun Olusola has warned politicians on the implications of violent electioneering, insisting that it could engender crisis in the polity.

Olusola, who is celebrating his 76th birthday today, spoke with Daily Sun in Lagos, saying, 'Refugees do not fall from the sky' but are created by bad politicking.

According to the founder of African Refugees Foundation (AREF), 'Refugees are products of bad government and public servants to the effect that they don't behave very well and leave legacies that are difficult to erase.'

Commenting on the April general elections, Olusola said: 'Politicians need to be warned that if they do not manage this election well, it could develop into conflict-laden challenges we may be unable to manage. Discussions are still better at jaw jaw level but people should not be embittered to carry weapons to rallies.'

'There is no alternative to living together in this country. There is no alternative to peaceful election. When one is defeated in election, he should be generous enough to congratulate the winner. There is no alternative to good government, arising from elected executive of the people.' He canvassed an African brand of democracy where everyone has a stake in governance.

'There is nothing that cannot be discussed between losers and winners. We must cultivate notion of managing election.

Winner-takes-all syndrome is not recommended for Africans. It is not good to exclude large population from participating in government because of a piece of paper in election. There must be an African way of involving all in government in unity. I do not see any political party in Nigeria winning outright. There must be discussion among those involved in conflict management to ensure that after election, there may be room for all-inclusive government based on ratio of performance in election.'

The elder statesman frowned at the spate of crises in the continent, which has resulted in influx of refugees across borders, pointing out that Nigerians were equally victims.

'Refugees also include our hapless people returned from Libya. Many years ago, Libya ejected many Nigerians to the desert and they reported to AREF, asking for help to resettle. I appeal to Nigerian youths to think twice before embarking on this journey to different parts of the world. The best place to grow is still Nigeria no matter how tough it is. I encourage them to attempt their survival in Nigeria despite the challenges. I do not advise our youths to migrate to places they are not wanted,' Olusola said.