…continued existence of Nigeria is building up to a dangerous time bomb
By Peter Okutu
THE former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, Monday stated that “military actions or even foreign help alone cannot bring permanent solutions to ethnic conflicts or nationality agitations breeding insecurity across the country.
Anyim who stated this in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari further advised the President on the “need to create a platform to hear Nigerians out.”
According to him: “I make bold to say that no solution except one birthed by an independently conducted engagement with fact-based recommendations arrived at with the participation of the citizens will provide an enduring solution. ”
“To worsen matters, Boko Haram has acquired new impetus that they now overrun the military and have even expanded their base to Niger State. IPOB has become a regional challenge.
“On the non-violent side, agitations for restructuring are scaling up in momentum, ethnic consciousness and allegiance even among the elite are far eroding national concerns. All these and many more coupled with gross downturn in the national economic, social and political space has become an apparent threat to our nationhood.
“I am to add, that it must be known that military actions or even foreign help alone cannot bring permanent solutions to ethnic conflicts or nationality agitations. Mr. President, you need to create a platform to hear Nigerians out.
Part of the letter read: “I make bold to recommend that Mr. President should make history by empaneling another commission of inquiry to inquire into the violent and non-violent agitations in Nigeria and make recommendations on the immediate-, short- and long-term solutions as a way of first de-escalating the rising tension in the land and a process for the renewal of our march to nationhood.
“There is no gainsaying that reservations about the continued existence of Nigeria is building up to a dangerous time bomb. I make bold to say that no solution except one birthed by an independently conducted engagement with fact-based recommendations arrived at with the participation of the citizens will provide an enduring solution.
“It is important to note that in a democracy, no action is deemed successful or completed until the buy-in of the people is secured through a democratic process.
“This buy-in- is an imperative that is yet to be pursued in the fight against violent agitations in Nigeria. I must say that as long as the people are not part of the process of finding solutions to the conflicts, a permanent solution will be a mirage.
“The benefit of such Commission include, the de-escalation of the current tension in the country and creation of a platform for exchange of ideas. It is a natural Governmental process of addressing challenges of public importance. The report of such a commission will put in proper perspective and provide basis for further action.
“It will offer the citizenry the opportunity and platform to share their concerns and to be heard. This helps to build confidence and reduce animosity and mutual suspicion; it identifies the immediate and remote causes of the current challenges and provide a framework for their resolution.
“Such a commission will aim not only to unravel the remote and immediate causes but also determine the various dimensions and define them accordingly. E.g. democratic agitations will be separated from violent crimes to the understanding of all. It will also capture the reasons for the agitations and the Justice thereto.
“Such a Commission will propose immediate-, short- and long-term solutions and develop a roadmap towards addressing them. Such roadmap used as a national reference document would guide further interactions and processes for implementation.
“Such document will be the foundation for a new Nigeria anchored on negotiated settlement derived from the legitimacy bestowed by citizen participation and the credibility of the commission.”