From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Sani Yerima, has linked the security challenges in Nigeria to ignorance, lack of education and poverty.
Yerima, who stated this in Birnin Kebbi while speaking with newsmen after a consultation meeting with his supporters, said that the challenges are surmountable if Nigerians, regardless of their religion, united to fight for the country.
The former senator, who disclosed that he held a consultation meeting with his allies in consideration for running in the 2023 presidential election, said he believed that once the welfare of citizens are properly taken care of, they would not take up arms to kill their compatriots.
‘The constitution is very clear, there are only two functions of the government both at the state and national levels. I am ready to offer security of lives and properties of all citizens irrespective of their religions, tribes and ethnicity and improvement of their welfare. So, the ability of somebody in Nigeria to come up with policies and programmes and identify the people who are capable, who have the capacity to support him in ensuring these programmes are achieved, would [make a difference],’ he said.
‘And those policies, of course, have to do with poverty. Of course, most of the crisis we are facing today are due to poverty and illiteracy. Ignorance is a very big disease that is causing problem. If not out of illiteracy, ignorance, you will not be finding an individual taking a gun and be killing his fellow Nigerian; [it is] because they illiteracy and ignorance.
‘If somebody has something to do, probably well educated, I don’t think these kinds of challenges will continue,’ Yerima said.
The ex-governor, who noted that Nigeria’s challenges are not unique, explained that many countries around the world have faced similar problems in their history.
‘The ability of the people to come together in spite of political, religious [and] ethnic differences, to come together and support the leadership of the country, that would determine what would happen to that country.
‘You can see such countries like Libya, Syria and many other countries. Some of them have collapsed, some of them are facing a lot of problems till today. The leadership of the Syria is still there, but they are still facing a lot of challenges. Even America and Britain, all of them used to face challenges from time to times.
‘You know about Irish Republic; in America there are so many gun problems, killing people and so on. But I believe that in Nigeria these challenges we are facing with armed banditry, insurgency and others will be a thing of the past if we turn to God, pray to God. We should asked our ulamas and pastors to pray for this country,’ Yerima said.