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By Dayo Adesulu
Former Nigeria’s Ambassador Plenipotentiary and permanent Representative to the United Nations, Chief Arthur Mbanefo has said that the bombing of pipelines by militants which destroys the nation’s economy is treasonable.
Fielding questions from the audience, Thursday, during the 17th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture in Lagos, Mbanefo said: “Those militants bombing our oil pipelines and destroying our economy are committing treason.”
He noted that before the Federal Government will give them amnesty, the militants should first lay down their arms, then the government will determine the terms of their forgiveness.
Mbanefo who described the attitude of some Nigerians as appalling said: “They blew up the oil pipelines and then turned around to blame the government for our economic woes.”
He maintained that the state of the Nation is in the hands of its citizenry, saying that “If you will listen to me, listen. But if you will not accept what I am telling you, you are free to do so. I am over 86 years old, what I am doing is to support and tell you what will better the country.”
Mbanefo who was the chairman at the occasion had earlier in his opening speech said Nigeria was in a state of confusion, adding that since independence, Nigeria has not been able to correct its failures.
The former Ambassador urged Nigerians to embrace change in all facet of life, adding that change is not as natural as often imagined.
According to him, it is always hard to prepare oneself for a new situation of change, noting that all that is needed is the will to change.
Meanwhile, the immediate past Director-General, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, Mr Frank Nweke junior, a guest speaker who spoke on “The State of the Nigerian Nation: Redefining Our Values” said the state of nation is no longer news.
He, however urged every citizenry to redefine its national values which he described as pivotal to economic growth.
He said: “The State should create an environment conducive for all person to achieve their full potentials, maintenance of law and order and the protection of the lives and property of citizens.
“We must nurture our children in every sense of the word and pay attention to their welfare, as well as their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.”
He, however argued that the role of parents in the upbringing of children and for the orderly conduct of society is accentuated by the difficulty that the state has had in reigning in renegades, militants and insurgents who threaten the nation’s sovereignty.
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