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Regional security outfits may split Nigeria, says Gambari

By Kanayo Umeh and Sadiq Omolaoye, Abuja
02 March 2020   |   3:27 am
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has cautioned that the establishment of regional security outfits like the Operation Amotekun,

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has cautioned that the establishment of regional security outfits like Operation Amotekun, will cause disintegration of the country.

The Nigeria’s former ambassador to the United Nations (UN) also said the cohesion and confidence in the project Nigeria was now shaky, as the country was going through some of its most trying moments in 60 years of nationhood.

He noted that several of the challenges facing the nation have their root in history, while others are more recent and unexpected in their origin.

Gambari, who is Chairman, Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), spoke in Abuja at an event organized to honour former Defense Minister, General Domkat Bali (rtd.), who recently turned 80.

He said Nigerians have to look at solutions to the securing challenges from a national prism, rather than moving regional, adding that there are serious reasons to be worried that the country was not in a good shape.

He insisted that no one should be afraid of talking about restructuring, saying, “I am speaking at a time of a deepening sense of loss of national identity in our country where people are embarrassed or shocked and fearful to say they are proud of Nigeria.”

Continuing, he said, “The many challenges we are facing are structural in nature. And if the structure is not working, we have a responsibility to make adjustments to the structure for no structure is perfect.

“The United States has a longer year of practicing democracy made provisions for a constitutional amendment, so, why is it that we are praying to even agree that a structure that is not working should be adjusted to meet the demand and aspirations of our people.

“But for the sectional and regional way we are addressing the challenges, which is not tied to the primacy of the national security apparatus. So, if something is wrong nationally, we should not find solution regionally and even if we are to take regional solution, it should be a temporary arrangement and not a divorce of the national security architecture.

“The way we are going, God forbid we will have two countries, north, and South which could be increasingly unequal. I don’t see how that can contribute to the nation of our dreams. I am not a prophet of doom, I have never been and I will never become one. If I was one I would not have been proud and privileged to have served Nigeria during a difficult time for 10 years.”

President Muhammadu Buhari described the retired military General as an intelligent officer who had fought for national cohesion.

The President, who was represented by Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Boss Mustpha, said he had served the country selflessly and passionately and that he truly deserved to be celebrated.

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