From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, as a matter of urgency, to constitute a commission of inquiry that would establish and address root causes of insecurity and secessionist agitations across the country.
In a May 3 open letter addressed to the President, Anyim said he was compelled to take that route as an October 2018 meeting, which culminated in a letter to the president, submitted through his former Chief of Staff (late Abba Kyari), as directed by Buhari, on same subject matter, yielded no result.
The former Senate president said a commission of inquiry would afford a buy-in from citizens and those directly affected by insecurity and secessionists advocates, on the way forward for the country.
“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.”
Anyim said every violent agitation originates from a non-violent agitation that was not attended to. He said the current violent agitations originated from non-violent agitations, like Boko Haram started as a non-violent procession. He lamented that the herders/farmers clashes had degenerated into a deadly conflict with many states now bloody theatres of war.
“Ethnic conflicts in Kaduna, Ebonyi, Cross River, Benue, Plateau states are escalating to an unmanageable scale; banditry in virtually all states of the federation, particularly Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto has overwhelmed the law enforcement agencies, kidnaping which has become occupational in most parts of the country. 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.”
In his letter to the president, Anyim would go on to highlighted the gains of setting up such a commission at this time.
“The de-escalation of the current tension in the country and creation of a platform for exchange of ideas 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. 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 process 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.”