The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed concern about the provocative statements made by some leaders regarding insecurity in the country.
Nigeria has been gripped by a wave of insecurity that has ravaged several parts of the country with at least 1000 killed and several others kidnapped for ransom in 2019.
Last week's high profile killing of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, has further brought the enormity of the problem bearing on the current government.
In a statement signed by the APC's national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party expressed concerns over the cases of violent crimes in parts of the country, but also called for restraint in how the issue is discussed.
Herdsmen, who are usually Fulani, have been accused of being the culprits in countless violent crimes committed in many parts of Nigeria. Olakunrin's killing has been reported in some quarters to have been carried out by herdsmen, a detail that has coloured the conversation with ethnic sentiments.
However, the APC has cautioned that criminal acts should not be coloured with ethnic sentiment to prevent further crisis.
The party said, "Inciting actions and rhetorics are counterproductive and dangerous particularly in a multi-ethnic country such as ours.
"Terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other crimes must be condemned by all. There is nothing like an Isoko, Gwari or Awori robber because criminality has no tribe in the eyes of the law.
"We must remind ourselves that many of the recorded genocides all over the world started through unchecked prejudices and systematic profiling of racial, political and cultural groups. God forbid our dear country descends into such savagery.
"We reject the notion of a Nigeria where any ethnic group is unwelcome in any part of the country. Every Nigerian must be free to live and work in safety anywhere in the country."
The APC cautioned leaders to be more temperate in their language and actions and urged Nigerians to be wary of leaders who are intent on spreading hate and intolerance in the country.
"Their interventions are not patriotic but in pursuance of their political and selfish interests," the party said.
The party called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, as well as all religious, traditional, political leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians to not be distracted "by these unpatriotic antics".
The party also called on security agencies to intensify efforts to curb crime in the country.