Tackling insecurity should be priority, not 2023 poll – Dogara
‘Mass Killings Now New Normal In Nigeria’
Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has called for more attention to the nation’s insecurity, saying that overcoming the menace should be the priority and not the 2023 general elections.
Dogara made the call in his keynote address at a peace and development summit in Abuja organised by the Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace and Development Studies. It was themed “Peace and Development in Nigeria: the pragmatic approach.”
The former lawmaker said: “Nigeria cannot survive if our people merely tolerate each other. Our happiness cannot be the other groups’ unhappiness. Our strength is not and will never be in our numbers but in our unity. When we are united, we’ll be strong and when we strive to keep our bond and remain undivided, we will be invincible.
“This is what should concern every patriotic Nigerian at the moment, not scheming for future elections. All efforts of patriotic citizens must be geared towards stopping our dear country from the ongoing death by a thousand cuts.
“Today, Nigeria is faced with an unprecedented crisis so much so that nothing in our history prepares us for such a time as this. We seem to have accepted killings and mass murder as our new normal and so many cold-blooded murder of our brothers and sisters no longer make the headlines in the media.
“As students, lecturers and political leaders, some of us are complicit while the few who have dared to speak up are already outraged–fatigued and have surrendered to fatalism –a feeling that nothing matters anymore. It is like Nigeria seems to be suffering from some kind of God-ordained ineluctable fate.
“What we have done before doesn’t matter, all that matters is our present station.
As long as we are not actively engaged in seeking solutions to these intractable issues, we are actually, wittingly or unwittingly, actively promoting it,” Dogara lamented.
According to him, the most immediate problem of the country is the dangerous drift into chaos and anarchy. Dogara said that apart from the rabid insecurity plaguing the nation, there were real or imagined charges of ethnic cleansing and domination of some sections by a certain section.
“Attacks are unrelenting and there appears to be no end in sight. The situation has clearly gotten out of hand, following the repeated overrun of military formations by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, wanton killings and kidnap for ransom and mass abduction of school children in different parts of the country.
“For instance, we all know that the North bears nearly 90 per cent of the insecurity brunt of the country. If estimates are anything to go by, not less than 50,000 northerners have been killed while over 3 million have been displaced in the Northeast alone. No one has the record of Northern lives lost to rural banditry, the farmer-harder clashes and ethno-religious conflicts. The number grows exponentially when we add to this, death occasioned by urban violence unleashed by an increasing army of mostly jobless youths suffering from substance use disorder,” he said.
Dogara, who was represented at the summit by Herman Hembe, said it was a pity that many were calling for the disintegration of the country saying that Nigeria cannot work.
“Unfortunately, they are emboldened by what they see but the real threats are buried in what they have failed to see. For instance, it is doubtful that if Nigeria were to break into pieces, the process will be peaceful. If a disintegration war breaks out now, the Western World had long predicted this and developed tools to secure their interest which is ensuring that the war does not distort their markets.”