..says eminent Nigerians should speak out
•Terror against the North is terror against Nigerians –APC chieftain
•Involve all in fight against menace –Cleric urges Buhari
Apparently worried by the worsening insecurity across the land, the former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa has called on eminent Nigerians to speak out against the menace even as he said that the fight against insecurity is no longer a party affair but for all Nigerians.
Also, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Senatorial aspirant in Imo State, Chief Chikwem Onuoha has said that the continued terrorists’ extortion and killing of farmers in Northern Nigeria is terror against all Nigerians.
Similarly, a prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh AbdulWahab Abdallah, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison party differences and bring in all stake holders, and other top military officers both serving and retired in order to find a common ground in the war against insecurity which the citizens are grappling with daily.
The trio made the calls in separate interviews with Sunday Telegraph in reactions to the Mazarbari, Borno massacre in which Boko Haram insurgents killed 43 rice farmers. Alhaji Tofa said Nigeria is on the pathway to Rwanda with genocide going on daily.
He said: “Long before the Rwandan path was paved, religious differences and ethnic intolerance as being repeated today, led to a civil war that took our best, took our leaders, took innocent souls and took us backward.
“The backwardness is still haunting and hurting us till day. And, it’s the wounds of the war that was not treated in a round table talk, that is leading to another war. Yet, the leader of the nation insists that he is comfortable exactly the way things are.
“On the expressway to Rwanda, citizens got killed, innocent girls were violated, mothers raped, farmers’ throats slit, people going about their businesses were killed at gun point and nothing was done about it. From Enugu, Kaduna South, Bornu, Bauchi, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau down to Benue, the Rwandan experience is going on.”
It is based on this that he is calling on eminent Nigerians to speak out and be a voice for peace in the face of the killings, banditry, kidnapping and other violence going on in the country. Hear him: “Where are you Gen. Gowon? Your silence is strongly becoming cowardice. Where art thou Alhaji Abudsalam Abubakar? Your silence is strongly becoming a tactical approval to the atrocities going on in the nation.
“Where you are Chief Emeka Anyaoku for there is an error in your silence. Speak out General IBB (Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida) or else history will record it that you said nothing when your voice was needed most. Ochiagha Ndi Igbo Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe your children are being slaughtered in their farms and you are saying nothing. “The earlier our leaders drop their ethnic and religious differences and come together to demand an end to the killings moving from one village to another to slaughter our people, the better. Speak out now for no matter how small your voice may sound, our collective voices will sound like a big mega phone to help stop the looming danger.” Also weighing in, Chief Chikwem Onuoha condemned the continued extortion and killing of farmers in Northern Nigeria by terrorists, insisting that the terror against the North is terror against all Nigerians.
He lamented that Nigeria as a sovereign nation has been mortified enough by the unrestrained activities of terrorists in the Northern part of the country. He added that: “Allowing farmers in the North to pay levies to terrorists and bandits before harvesting farm produce to distribute across the country implies that every citizen of the country that buys or uses such agricultural produce is indirectly funding terrorism in the North, so we will all be complicit if we do not take decisive action to end the attack and harassment of our farmers in the North.”
He stressed that by the nature of terrorism and banditry, insecurity in itself, is dynamic and naturally evolves according to actions, reactions and even inactions of stakeholders.
Onuoha said: “Insecurity in the North or in the South translates to insecurity everywhere in the country. The North is vigorously heading towards full blown anarchy if nothing decisive is done to check the drift. And when it achieves the ‘Wild Wild North’ status, the attendant overflow will affect the Southern part of the country.
So insecurity in the North is not a northern problem but a Nigerian problem, as such it does not need a northerner to solve it but any Nigerian with the capacity to solve the problem.”
On his own, Sheikh AbdulWahab Abdallah, wants President Buhari to convey a summit of all stakeholders in ‘Project Nigeria’ irrespective of religion, ethnic or party affiliation in order to proffer solution to the insecurity. Sheikh AbdulWahab said Nigeria is in dire straights which require everybody’s participation no matter his political background.
He reminded the President that the responsibility before him is to safeguard the livelihood and lives of every Nigerian, and when that is being challenged, then every strategy should be adopted to achieve peace.
He said: “The President should quickly invite all retired and serving generals as well as former Heads of State, to share in their wisdom in prosecuting the fight against Insurgency and other insecurity in the land.”
The Islamic Scholar also urged the indigenes of Borno State and other security challenged states to rise up and defend their territory by supporting security agencies or by even joining the Civilian JTF where necessary. “It is only by doing so, that the insurgency would be eliminated and the desired peace will be achieved.”