Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, expressed worry that the North was becoming the epicentre of violence, adding that urgent steps must be taken to tackle the problem.
Dogara said this at the Northern Security meeting organised by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in Kaduna State.
Dogara, who chaired the event, said: “The North is now the epicentre and theatre of violence. From Boko Haram ISWAP, led by Al-Barnawi, Boko Haram, led by Shekau and Ansaru insurgency, to farmers/herders conflict, banditry, kidnappings, ethno-religious conflicts, cattle rustling, etc we are confronted with a crisis that is unparalleled in our history.
“The death spiral appears unstoppable. Increasingly, it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish us from our enemies. There was no shortage of early warning signs and as a matter of fact, our philosophers such as the late Sa’adu Zungur of blessed memory had warned that this dystopian era was fast approaching but we ignored all. We are now paying for our collective negligence.
“The North is now in the grip of what Soren Kierkegaard called “sickness unto death” — the numbing of the soul by despair that leads to moral and physical debasement. It has become a society that is driven at its very core by the death instinct. The instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create,” Dogara said.
The former Speaker added that “Our economic debris have become too conspicuous to be ignored. As it is, we are now trapped in a prison of mirrors, where revealed lies are answered with new lies. With all these, it’s like our slow-motion walk to the self apocalypse is assured. We have seen this movie before in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria to name but just a few but not in Northern Nigeria.
“Of the 19 northern states and the FCT, only Kwara State and the FCT are relatively peaceful or have the lowest rate of insecurity but all the other 18 states are inflamed by one form of violence or the other. Now the question that we all must answer is how did we get here and what must we do to defeat the radical evil of violence before it swallows us up?
“I must say that one mistake we are all guilty of is to fold our arms and wait on governments at all levels to solve this problem for us. Government has its own fair share of the blame but what are we doing ourselves?
“On the flip side, I get angry anytime I hear our brothers and sisters say that they are worried about what is happening in the North but they are not prepared to take a stand and be the difference.
“They have become like Malcolm in Macbeth who said: “Let us seek out some desolate shade and there weep our sad bosoms empty.
“For those of us who only worry, thanks but no thanks, because worry is the most useless human endeavour. Worry produces nothing but pains.”
In his recommendations to the security challenges bedevilling the country, the former speaker said: “We must urgently begin to depopulate the pool from which youngsters are recruited into violence.
“I am more than persuaded that if we cannot serve the poor, the destitute and those who are hurting in our midst but claim to be serving God whom we have never seen, we are nothing but pathetic liars.
“We can transform our society if we are ready and willing to make the right sacrifice in serving others instead of serving ourselves. We must hold the government to account but we must never abandon our collective destiny to government alone,” Dogara said.