Saddened by what he described as “mindless killings and bloodletting in Southern Kaduna” and other parts of the North, former Senator and Civil Rights activist, Shehu Sani has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute a Presidential panel that would proffer solutions.
He said there are eminent personalities with track record of solving crisis, noting that Buhari should leave governors out of the situation and get indigenous leaders involved, particularly in Southern Kaduna.
“I will use this opportunity to call on the President to call leaders of Southern Kaduna; the youths and Elders of Southern Kaduna to hear and have first hand, unbiased and unambiguous knowledge of what is happening there with possible solution and how to bring an end to the crisis. You can’t solve the problem of a house without involving the tenants and the landlord.
“He should appoint people with experience and knowledge beyond governors of States. People like Senator Markarfi, people like Martin Luther Agwai, people like Dangiwa Umar; these are people who at one time or the other solve problems without partisanship and address the problems squarely.
Sani stressed that the country is under the siege of terrorism and bandits attack, noting that the ugly development shouldn’t be given another name.
Speaking with correspondents in his office in Abuja after an award was conferred on him by the Heritage Television, London, the former lawmaker and human rights activist said there can’t be mindless killing and bloodletting in the Northern part of Nigeria and elsewhere and he would be expected to keep quiet.
“I want to express my appreciation to the management of Heritage Television, London for according me this award. I never expected this award and I thank you very much for this.
“My history is the history of struggle against injustice; against oppression; against marginalisation; and against terrorism. Our country today is going through a difficult moment.
“People have been killed by terrorists and bandits particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria and particularly in the north west. “Women and children have been slaughtered.
“Mourning has become a daily affair. This award today is a challenge to each of us to call government to account and to lend support in ending this mindless daily bloodletting. So much blood has been shed in northern part of Nigeria.
“There’s terrorists and insurgents in the Northeast, bandits in the northwest part of Nigeria. Ethno-religious violence has consumed the States even within the middle belt like Benue.
“Peace and stability are important ingredients in national development and national prosperity of any nation. The greatest legacy that should be left behind by President Muhammadu Buhari is leaving behind united, peaceful and one Nigeria. The one our children can grow and the one that we can all die in peace. It is important for people in position of authority to understand that until the lives of people matter, nothing else matters.
“It doesn’t matter the length of roads you constructed or bridges or airports or railway station and people are being slaughtered everyday, it makes no sense. Human lives are more important than any infrastructural development.
“It is important for us to unite as a country, both Muslims and Christians to stand up in defence of unity. And to stand up and challenge terrorists and bandits who are a danger to our country and a serious threat to our lives.
Speaking further, he said goverrment should protect the citizens, if it doesn’t want them to protect themselves.
“Those people who are opposed to self defence should provide security and safety for the people. The failure of security apparatus to protect the lives of people begets the idea of self defence. Nigerians have the capacity and ability to defend themselves.
“I have said it always that when the security apparatus of the State cannot protect the people, then the people become lambs in the forest of hyenas and wolves. Terrorists and bandits killing innocent people in Katsina, they are the same, killing people in parts of Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger State.
“They are the ones in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state. The killers of people in Southern Kaduna are terrorists and bandits. The use of the word reprisal or revenge is simply to justify the atrocious and unspeakable activities of bandits.
“The killers are not attacking Christians or Muslims, it’s terrorists attacking the people of Southern Kaduna of which majority of them are Christians. We should call a space, a spade, so there’s genocidal attack in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the North and we must tell the truth, no matter how bitter it is.
“It is also important for somebody like President Muhammadu Buhari to setup a Presidential Committee on finding solutions to kidnapping and banditry and violence in northern Nigeria.
He berated politicians talking about 2023 political ambition amid killings, while urging them to first of all address the challenges of insecurity even as he said, human lives were more important than anything.
“It is unfortunate that the forests; the countryside of the North is littered with corpses and politicians are standing on those corpses to talk about 2023. What should preoccupy the northern part of Nigeria today is ending the killings and violence in the north.
“President Muhammadu Buhari still has opportunity to address these challenges. It’s not late, but he to do what is right at this time because some of us will not sit on the fence, but speak to power”, he concluded.
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