Kogi Declaration: Political Leaders and Unguarded Utterances

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By Hon. Tom Ohikere

The trending claims and counterclaims over the Ihima declaration of last week is a subject of critical concern.

The point at issue here is not the veracity of the claims or counterclaims,but the fact that such utterances could trigger dire consequences in the nearest future.

The public utterances of this matter is very unhelpful and unhealthy to the cause of peace in the state. The government must properly understand part of it’s main constitutional obligations to the people as the constitution provides in section 14(2)that the primary purpose of government is welfare and security of the people.

Besides that, before I was sworn into the state cabinet in 2008, Ihima was a flashpoints for years as there were killings and burning of many homes and properties.

The current mood in the state requires that both high and low must do nothing to inflame emotions and raise tension.

We must prevent fresh conflicts and contribute to the resolution of existing ones. This is most required from people in leadership positions and whose words can affect the good or for ill, the behavior of their followers.

Indeed those who aspire for leadership should take note that the art of public speaking, especially by leaders is a discipline they should continue to learn.

I am sorry if I step on toes with this post, but I just feel strongly that as one of the leaders of the society, especially as a media gatekeeper,I have a moral obligation to speak at times like this.

A word is enough for the wise.

I remain Tom Ohikere.




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