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CONFLICTS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA (5): 13 years of civil rule in perspective

Akinlade, M. T. in this concluding part notes that the level at which violence is rocking northern Nigeria suggests that all is not well with the country.

THE level at which violent conflicts ravage northern Nigeria today is a manifestation of the fact that, all is not well with the country as all the three geo-political zones in the region are affected.

Meanwhile, all hope is not lost on peaceful co-existence of northern residents irrespective of social, political and economic status and place of origin as well as tribe/region as they can forgive themselves and put their differences aside as Blacks and Whites did in South Africa as well as Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi did. Government has to take the lead in this process, if result is to be quickly achieved.

Recommendations: It is clear from the above that, the attainment of peace in northern Nigeria is a project that must be consciously and vigorously pursued.

VICTIMS OF THE  BOMB EXPLOSION AT ST. RITA’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, ANGWAN YERO, MALALI VILLAGE  AT GARKUWAN HOSPITAL, IN KADUNA, ON SUNDAY.PHOTO;OLU AJAYI.
VICTIMS OF THE BOMB EXPLOSION AT ST. RITA’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, ANGWAN YERO, MALALI VILLAGE AT GARKUWAN HOSPITAL, IN KADUNA, ON SUNDAY.PHOTO;OLU AJAYI.

Meanwhile, the recipe for the various conflicts will certainly differ since their causes vary but certain salient factors are observable in all the conflicts which will make the following suggestions useful in a bid to ensure peace in the country. The suggestions are:

•Restructuring of Nigerian federal arrangement must be given priority. The restructuring should entail the power to make laws that best suit the feelings of the various states, and state police, while the federal government continues to control the armed forces and federal capital territory police.

We do not share the view of those opposed to the creation of state police. It is our strong view that, the country is over-governed since she has 774 LGs, 36 States and one Federal Government but with little impact and high burden on public resources.

We, therefore, recommend the dissolution of the present local government councils and states, while the 108 senatorial districts with the exception of the one in FCT are made states with no local government councils. This will make government closer to the people and will also make better impact on the lives of the people. A comprehensive formula for the working of this arrangement would be worked out. In this sense, most communal or ethnic conflicts would be addressed.

•Provision of employment opportunities cannot be forgotten in a hurry as joblessness provides army of experts in violence. To achieve this, agriculture, power supply and good roads must be given the right attention. Also, our present capitalist model educational system that only produce specialists in one area, which in turn fail to make best use of human potential must be addressed.

Our educational system must emphasise doing (skill/practical) to the extent that, every graduates will be an expert in a theoretical field like political science, along a practical work such as tailoring. The idea must start from the primary and secondary schools.

•“Almajiris” must be integrated into the civilised society. This is only when the north will know peace. This can be achieved through aggressive construction of modern boarding schools in all parts of the north. The schools must be completely free, free meal must be given and Mallam must also be co-opted into the system. The practice of “almajiri” must also be outlawed.

The schools, which will also provide skills for the adult wanderers will be operated jointly by the federal and state governments and once an almajiri comes in, he will be well treated and not allowed to depart the premises for at least four months.

This is to make him internalise value for self and others. The establishment of “almajiri” schools by the federal government is a welcome development but the schools must be in thousands, the less than five schools established will not make a difference, as there are about ten million “almajiris” at present.

•The various reports of commissions of enquiry into certain conflicts should be reviewed and implemented with utmost objectivity.

•The government and people of Nigeria must develop inquisitiveness, to the extent that organizations and government of other countries that issues statement about the state of affairs or predictions about the country are made to explain the indices or premise upon which their conclusions were made.

For instance, United States of America issued a statement in 2010 predicting the disintegration of Nigeria before 2015. Rather than ask why such a conclusion was drawn, they were called prophets of doom. Also, we can’t completely rule out their influence in some of these conflicts.

Therefore, our security agents must also look in their direction.•The Nigerian educated elite and press must put the interest of the country first in their conduct while also taking fairness seriously.

 


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