Jos – A former aviation minister, Chief Felix Hyat, has advised northern governors to relate more with security agencies rather than hurling blames in the quest to tackle insurgency.
“ Governors as chief security officers have their constitutional weaknesses, but with understanding and improved human relations, they can take full control of security in their states and minimise insurgency,’’ Hyat said in Jos on Tuesday.
The former minister, who was also Secretary to the State Government (SSG) during the Ahmed Makarfi administration in Kaduna State, said.
“As SSG in Kaduna, I know that the governor wielded massive influence on discussions and agreements as the chairman of the State Security Council sessions.
“Normally, the Commissioner of Police, the GOC, the Director of State Service and other key stakeholders will be in the meeting, but the governor will lead the deliberations and effectively influence what will happen.
“The police commissioner could reach out to his boss after the sessions, but ultimately, he (commissioner) decides what happens as he is the man on the ground and knows the peculiar nature of the area he is covering.
“In the specific situation the north currently faces, the people will be better served if governors strive to work together with the president as Nigerian leaders rather than antagonise the central leadership and blame it for everything,’’ Hyat said.
He also urged governors and other leaders to be proactive and should quickly resolve issues as they arose rather than taking them for granted.
The former minister said Nigerians must be educated to accept one another, adding that they must realise that they cannot live in isolation.
“Even if we decide to be that foolish, we shall have denominational differences staring us in the face,’’ he said.
On the allegations that insurgency was politically motivated, Hyat described such claims as “ myopic.’’
“I think the problem is the kind of cut-throat democracy we practise.
“ There is no interaction between the ruling political party and the opposition. So, whatever the opposition says, the ruling party sees it as mischievous and stupid.
“This should not be so because we know the capacity of each other and should have meaningful engagement and promote mutual respect rather than abuse each other.
“Even within the ruling political party, once you have a contrary opinion, you are treated as an enemy just for offering an advice.
“ In fact, in most cases, the hatred is much stronger from within,’’ he said.
The former minister, who also reacted to suggestions that government should negotiate with the Boko Haram sect, expressed concern over the dilemma of the Federal Government.
He advised government to weigh the options considering its strength and come up with what was best in the circumstance.
Hyat, however, commended the Federal Government for seeking international support, saying this should not be seen as a sign of failure.
“All nations, for instance, came on board to assist Malaysia in the search for the missing plane.
“ Such assistance can be soothing because in the end, all of us are human beings,’’ he said. (NAN)