Menu
in

Obasanjo, Northern, Southern leaders, clerics meet over heightening insecurity in Nigeria

The leaders suggested the setting up of special courts to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding and unlawful carrying of weapons.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

“Federal Government must be proactive, secure necessary and updated intelligence to deal with organised crimes and have common policy for the nation”
 
“We acknowledge that the security situation has gone beyond tolerance; hence Sheik Gumi’s coming to Abeokuta to confer with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday hosted Northern leaders led by the popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, identifying the wave of Fulani herders’ attacks, banditry and kidnapping as micro-ethnic conflict.
The duo at the end of the meeting agreed that banditry, kidnapping, other crimes and atrocities snowballing into  insecurity are a nationwide phenomenon.
Gumi had briefed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on his recent peace advocacy visits to the Fulani bandits in the North with the hope that government will understand the situation better and adopt his suggestions as the best possible way of ending the current  crisis.

Those on the entourage of Gumi include Prof. Usman Yusuf, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Honourable Suleiman Gumi, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu and Mallam Buba Mohammed.

On the side of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo were Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, Chairman of Ogun State Christian Association of Nigeria, Oba Babajide Bakre, Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta, Sheikh Sa’addallah Alade Bamigbola, Chief Imam of Egbaland, Chief Kenny Martins, Chief Ola Babajide Jaiyeoba; Rev. Tony Ojeshina, Chief Imams of Oke-Ona, Gbagura, and Mr. Vitalis Ortese.

A joint statement said: “We acknowledge that the security situation has gone beyond tolerance; hence Sheik Gumi’s coming to Abeokuta to confer with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

“We identified the crisis as micro ethnic conflict between the Fulani and many host communities mainly in the North-West.

“We acknowledge that people from different parts of the country and outside the country are involved although some people are more predominantly involved than others.

“We must not advertently or inadvertently, in words, action or inaction encourage or support criminality.

“Federal government must be proactive, secure necessary and updated intelligence to deal with organised crimes and have common policy for the nation.”
Identifying the remote causes of insecurity in Nigeria as educational and economic disparities, and the negative use of religion and ethnicity by unscrupulous politicians, the statement
said: “Solutions must be seen and provided on short-medium-and long-term bases and must be composed of stick and carrot for the offender and the vulnerable.
“All well-meaning Nigerians have to be involved in finding solutions to the crises by: desisting from blame game; desisting from ethnicising these crimes; desisting from religionising these crimes; desisting from regionalising these crimes; respecting one another individually, community-wise, locally, ethnically, religiously and socially; showing tolerance and accommodation where necessary; condemning criminal acts no matter where it is committed and by whom it is committed in Nigeria.”Also encouraging more of carrot solution as may be found necessary; sharing information at all levels; not accepting criminality as a way of life for any individual or group in our nation.
“Since the end of the civil war, the military are the strongest and most potent instrument and symbol of national unity that we have and we must keep them so.

“State governments must have adequate means of providing security for their people and as chief executives and chief security officers of their states, they must have the means at their disposal to ensure security for all within their states.”

According to the leaders, it is not solving the problem when one state goes for negotiation and molly-cuddling of criminals and another one goes for shooting them.

“Nor should one state go for ransom payment and another one going against.
“Education is one main key to solve the problem in the long run but it must start now. The 14 million children that should be in school and are out of school must be put in school with local authorities, state governments and federal government working together.
“Wean those who are ready to be weaned out of the bushes and crime, settle and rehabilitate them, give them skills, empower them and let them have employment.“The hardened criminals must be hard hit with stick. Unlawful carrying of arms should be very seriously punished.“Federal government should take the issue up seriously within ECOWAS to work for a regional solution.

“Every community must be encouraged and empowered to stand firm and strong against criminals.


“There should be protection and reward covertly for whistle blowers against criminals living in the community,” the statement said.

The leaders suggested the setting up of special courts to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding and unlawful carrying of weapons.

It stressed: “Let the slogan be: Security is the responsibility of all Nigerians.

“We agree to continue to work together for solutions for the security of Nigeria and to seek others to join us as we widely circulate our joint statement.

A woman wipes a tear after dead bodies mostly women and children were killed during religious clash between natives of Dogo Nahawa and Hausa Fulani while they are being arranged in a mass grave for burial at Dogo Nahawa village in south of Jos, Plateau State on March 8, 2010. UN chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for “maximum restraint” amid revulsion at the slaughter of more than 500 Christians in Nigeria, as survivors told how the killers chopped down their victims. Funerals took place for victims of the three-hour orgy of violence on Sunday in three Christian villages close to the northern city of Jos, blamed on members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)


“To this end, Sheik Gumi has extended an invitation to Chief Obasanjo to visit Kaduna with a view to continuing the discourse started today and Chief Obasanjo has graciously accepted.

“We conclude that to keep Nigeria safe and secure for all Nigerians and others living in Nigeria is a task that all well-meaning Nigerians must engage in, separately and collectively.

“Both of us resolve that we would not relent in our efforts. The delegations on both sides acceded to this statement. We agree to meet again in due course to re-examine progress and situation of security in Nigeria.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Written by Per Second News

Leave a Reply

Exit mobile version