The Federal Government on Thursday stated that the general state of insecurity in the country has triggered a rising call for secession as well as politicisation of ethnic and religious differences.
Lai Mohhammed, Minister of Information and Culture, while speaking during a Town Hall Meeting on National Security, held at the Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna, expressed concern about the general state of insecurity in the country occasioned by incidences of farmers/herders clashes, Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, ethno-religious clashes and intolerance, cultism, drug addiction and kidnapping for ransom.
The Minister, in his opening remarks, said insecurity posed a dangerous threat to the unity of the country and its continued existence as one indivisible nation.
According to him, the Ministry of Information and Culture launched the Town Hall Meeting series in Lagos on April 25, 2016, to provide a platform for the federal government to regularly give an account of its stewardship to the people, get a feedback and input from them to enhance citizens’ participation in governance.
He said the 18th edition of the Town Hall meeting, with the theme “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria,” was another of efforts of the government, in its expansive consultation with stakeholders, to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.
Mohammed said: “Ominously, the general state of insecurity, as reflected in incidences of farmers/herders clashes, Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, ethno-religious clashes and intolerance, cultism, drug addiction and kidnapping for ransom, are now triggering a rising call for secession as well as politicization of ethnic and religious differences.
“Bluntly put, the insecurity and its manifestations pose a dangerous threat to the unity of the country and its continued existence as one indivisible nation.”
He queried: “How did we get here and what can we do to change the narrative?”
Mohammed said finding a solution to the problems would require teamwork, reflecting all diversities, and leveraging on the entire nation’s collective creativity to pursue with diligence the project of rescuing Nigeria.
According to him, the correct starting point towards addressing these myriad of problems is the building of an elite consensus on the security, unity, indissolubility and peaceful existence of Nigeria
Meanwhile , the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has re-echoed his call for the establishment of state police, devolution of power to the component units and decentralisation of the judicial system to tackle the exigencies of present times, because Nigeria is at war with criminal and divisive elements bent on bringing the country to its knees.
The governor made the call yesterday at the 18th Town Hall Meeting entitled: ‘Setting Benchmarks for Enhancing Security and National Unity in Nigeria’, held at Kaduna State University, Kaduna, which was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
El-Rufai stated that bandits and terrorists tormenting the country have all lost their right to life and should be wiped out. He stressed that the current security situation calls for national consensus as Nigeria is at war.