21 June 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – OIL workers in Nigeria, under the umbrella of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has warned of possible abandonment of the northern part of the country over the increasing activities of the Boko Haram sect.
They said on Wednesday that attacks on Christian worshippers by the Boko Haram sect in Kaduna and the reprisals on innocent Muslims may mark the beginning of violent break-up of Nigeria as it happened in Yugoslavia.
PENGASSAN said in a statement entitled: “The road to Yugoslavia,” that the development represents a dangerous descent into anomie, reminiscent of the horrific inter-ethnic and religious war that marked the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia.
It stated that it would not hesitate to call out its members, starting from its Kaduna zone, if government continues with its inaction in arresting the violence against innocent Nigerians in the northern part of the country.
The statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade ‘Deji Kolawole, said: “The attacks on Christian worshippers in Kaduna and Zaria last Sunday, claimed by the terrorist group, Boko Haram and the consequent reprisals on innocent Muslims, represent a dangerous descent into anomie, reminiscent of the horrific inter-ethnic and religious war that marked the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia.”
He continued: “Nigeria cannot afford to take this road to self-destruction, for when the rich make war, it is the poor that suffer. We, therefore, appeal to Nigerians to exercise great restraint in the face of the constant provocation and violence perpetrated on other innocent Nigerians by terrorists under the hood of religionists whose aim is, obviously, to precipitate an ethnic cum religious war in the country. We must note that an eye for an eye would only make us all blind.”
“The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) expresses grave concern on the deteriorating security situation in the country resulting in the loss of innocent lives and which has led, lately, to the declaration of a 24-hour curfew in two states — Kaduna and Yobe — with the attendant impact on the socio-economic lives of the citizens of those states and other neighbouring states.
“We further call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, which has all the coercive powers of state to wake up to its primary responsibility, i.e. the security and welfare of the people as enunciated in section 14 of the 1999 Constitution.
“We and indeed all Nigerians are tired of the president’s usual swan song of expressing heartfelt condolences, condemning the dastardly act and promising to bring perpetrators to book whenever attacks like these happen.”