Northern Elites Berate High Level of Insecurity in The Country
Elder statesman, Alhaji Maitama Sule says the level of insecurity in the country is largely due to issues of injustice and unemployment. The elder statesman said this at a meeting of northern elders which took place in Abuja.
The meeting had in attendance, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (RTD), Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (RTD), former vice-president Atiku Abubakar and other prominent elders from the northern part of the country.
Alhaji Sule also identified religious bigotry as a major challenge confronting the country.
The leaders had gathered to review the state of the country, especially in view of the sustained level of insecurity affecting some cities in the north.
Alhaji Sule bemoaned injustice in the land and berated the government for alleged negligence, saying: “If there is justice the people in power will be concerned and create jobs, look after the people. It is not force that will make the people obey. The world can never be governed by force, never by fear, even never by power. In the end what governs is the mind. What conquers is the spirit.
“Today, what we need in the North in order to arrest the situation is unity. And we should learn from the lessons of our elders. But I beg you: let us try to revive the glory of the past. We are all brothers, if there is any trouble it will affect every one of us. Let no one think that he would escape.
He said: “The problems in Nigeria and indeed in the North are two: tribalism and religious bigotry. I see no reason why religion should be a barrier to our unity not only in the North but also in the entire country. Nigeria is a very religious country. The Christians in Nigeria are more than any Christendom. The Muslims are more religious than any Muslim in any part of the world.”
The elders then withdrew to a closed door meeting which lasted for two hours, after which they claimed a conclusion was not reached at the meeting.
They set up two committees to come up with solutions within two weeks. The elders are due to reconvene on March 27.
One of the committees is on security and the other on political and socio-economic problems confronting the region.
Others in attendanceare former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator John Wash Pam; Alhaji Maitama Sule; Alhaji Sule Katagum; a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir; and a former Military Administrator of Oyo State, Gen. Paul Tarfa.
Others are a former Military Governor of the old North-Eastern State, Gen. Abba Kyari; former Grand Khadi of Niger State, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu; Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura; a former Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Ango Abdullahi and AVM A Daggash among others.
Last Tuesday, the coalition which is led by Second Republic member of the House of Representatives, Dr.Junaid Muhammed set up 10 committees on security and Borno dialogue, constitutional amendments, revenue and fiscal systems and structure of Federalism in Nigeria.
The security committee is made up of participating governors, Dr. Muhammed (Convener), Alh. Mahmud Yayale Ahmed (Chairman), Sen. John Wash Pam, Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Prof. Ignatius Ayua , Alh. Adamu Maina Waziri, Chief. Timawus Mathias, Dr. Ladi Hamalai;and Solomon Dalung.
Others are Commodore Isa Tijjani, Chief Audu Ogbe, Mal. Mohammed Haruna, Mal. Mohammed Hayatuddeen , Sen. John Shagaya,; Prof. Idris Mohammed, Alh. Lawal Batagarawa , and Mal. Yusuf Abba.
Members of the Borno Dialogue Committee include Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa. Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, Prof. Nur Alkali, Abubakar Mustapha, David Garnva and Kalli Ghazali