Sam Ohuabunwa, convener of the New Nigeria Group (NNG), has warned that the current state of insecurity in the country will be a child’s play to what is to come, if the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration fails to listen to concerns raised by agitators.
Ohuabunwa, who made the comment at a press conference held in Lagos, said Nigeria is at the brink of collapse and urged the Federal Government to convene a national consultative assembly to give the country a lifeline.
While decrying recent attacks in Zamfara State, where 30 people were killed, in Niger, where a military camp was razed by bandits, a police station burnt down in Enugu, and a private university in Kaduna, where students were kidnapped, the NNG convener said these developments indicate that Nigeria is already at war with itself.
He cautioned those who think that the solution to the security crises lies in the establishment of more regional security outfits suck as Amotekun, Ebube Agu, among others.
Ohuabunwa noted that waging war against agitators will not solve the insecurity challenge in the country.
“I really don’t think that full militarisation of our country will solve the problem in a sustainable manner. We are daily and gradually getting overwhelmed by the rise of non-state militant actors and we need to stop trying to treat the festering symptoms only, but also to deal with the root causes, which are injustice, unemployment and poverty,” he said.
“My call is to request our political leaders to immediately convoke a national consultative assembly of all the ethnic nationalities and fathers of the nation to discuss how to calm the nation, starting with addressing all issues of injustice, real or perceived.
“For many years, calls for state and community policing were ignored, but now, we are arming all kinds of militia. Let us listen to the citizens and quickly respond to their needs and worries. It will be cheaper than buying more arms to kill ourselves. Money that should be used to build direly needed economic and social infrastructure is being wasted on buying arms and other military equipment to kill mostly fellow Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency has said no amount of pressure or intimidation will force Buhari into yielding to the demands of agitators.
Garba Shehu presidential spokesman, said this at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during a media interface organised by the APC Professional Group earlier in the week.
He said: “The presidency has been talking and our position is clear: that this country is one, is united and, by the grace of God, will continue to be united.
“Look, one thing with this president is that you can’t intimidate Buhari; you can’t bully him. A lot of these people who are calling for secessions are the problem of this country.
“This thing about secession is, they had used it in the past – you create secession talk to break up Nigeria and then you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the booth and he brings money to settle people.
“President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those states and from those regions. The governors in the South-west, we have all heard them; they have denounced all of these things.”
“So it’s a sham, Nigerians want to be one, they want to continue. Yes, there are problems and we are hoping that, as people united and loving of one another, we will come together and solve our problems.”