…Task Buhari on urgent measures
…Seek national consultative and reconciliation commission, community policing
By Clifford Ndujihe, Prince Okafor, Odera Ebeze & Salome Uloko
PAINED by the dan-gerous turn the scourge of insecurity has taken, a host of elder statesmen and eminent Nigerians, yesterday, tasked President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors and governments at all levels for urgent solutions.
The Patriots, a group of eminent Nigerians led by Professor Ben Nawbueze, SAN; Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN; Obong Victor Attah; General Alani Akinrinade, retd; Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, retd; and Professor Kimse Okoko among others spoke in Lagos after a meeting at the Ilupeju Law Chambers of late Chief Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams.
They met under the aegis of Project Nigeria Movement, PNM, against the backdrop of the current threatening insecurity and political tension foisted by ravaging terrorism and banditry across the country.
In a joint communiqué by Prof Pat Utomi, Mr Donald Duke, Dr Kunle Olajide, Prof Anthony Kila and Olawale Okunniyi, titled: ‘’Time for National Cohesion Against Terrorism in Nigeria,” the eminent Nigerians lamented that the country is at the brink of anarchy.
Aside other measures to halt the deadly trend they called for state, local government and community policing and the establishment of a consultative and reconciliation commission.
The communiqué read in part: ‘’The current heightened criminal and murderous activities of bandits and terrorists have once again pushed our dear country to the brink of anarchy. It is therefore, in response to this worrisome state of security in Nigeria that concerned eminent leaders of thought, Elder statesmen and women in an emergency consultation with the National Secretariat of Project Nigeria Movement resolved to intervene on this unfortunate situation in the country.
‘’It is to this end, that concerned statesmen and women, national leaders and political activists under the umbrella of Project Nigeria Movement, The Patriots and other civil society groups being led Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, retd, General Alani Akinrinade, retd, Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN; Obong Victor Attah, Professor Kimse Okoko among others met yesterday in Lagos to address the current threatening insecurity and political tension foisted by ravaging terrorism and banditry on our country; and afterward resolve as follows:
‘’We, in unequivocal terms, condemn all the dastardly and cruel murder of innocent Nigerians across the country by invading and local bandits and terrorists operating in the country.
”We sympathize and commiserate with all Nigerians, who have lost their relations and loved ones to armed kidnappings and murderous banditry inflicted by heartless ransom- taking and blood thirsty invaders and marauders within Nigeria’s highways and forest.
‘’We, strongly call on President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Chief Security Officer of the country to take visible and active measures to secure the country and to urgently put in place a serious security machinery to fish out these criminal invaders and murderers, whoever they are, and to make them pay for their ungodly acts in the interest of justice and peace.
‘’The Federal Government, in neutralising the heightened political tension foisted by dangerous altercations among ethnic and religious interests in the country, should immediately set up a National Consultative and Reconciliatory Commission of Eminent Leaders and Jurists to urgently engage the country towards unraveling the truth about the current murderous banditry and terrorism in the country and to facilitate profound National understanding and reconciliation among the various nationality and religious groups in the country in preventing a total breakdown of law and order and unwanted civil strife among Nigerians.
‘’Governments at all levels should immediately commence an in-depth and robust public conversation on State, Local and Community policing towards curbing and neutralizing the present state of insecurity and killings by menacing and invading armed bandits and terrorists marauding in the Forests and Highways of Nigeria.
‘’It is imperative for appropriate actions be taken with great speed and urgency by all concerned to avoid the complete erosion of the legitimacy of the Nigerian State and a journey down the road to Somalia.
‘’We as concerned leaders, pray, at this trying period, for divine fortitude for all Nigerians, who have lost their relations and loved ones to ravaging terrorist criminality in our country and shall take decisive steps to engage the Federal Government and all other Nigerian stakeholders on the way forward in the succeeding days.