A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has revealed how the problem of insurgency came to be in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that Yakasai was lamenting the spate of insecurity in the country under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari when he mentioned that insurgency emanated from the Southern region of Nigeria.
According to the 96-year-old elder statesman, the incumbent leader failed to address the root cause of banditry, especially in the North-West and North-Central because he had no clear-cut programmes and policy actions to tackle the menace.
The Human Rights Activist flashed back to how former President Umaru Yar’adua addressed the problem of militants in the Niger Delta.
Yakasai who spoke in an interview with Channels Television on Monday night recalled that late Yar’Adua in 2009, granted an amnesty deal to militants in the Niger Delta to end the unrest in the oil-rich region.
He mentioned that the late leader also offered an unconditional pardon and cash payments to about 10,000 militants who agreed to lay down their arms and assembled at screening centres. Some of the then militants were also trained and equipped in various areas of entrepreneurship and professional fields.
When asked during the live interview whether the present government is addressing the root cause of the insurgency and banditry that have engulfed the North and the menacing trend of kidnapping that is ubiquitous in all parts of the country at the moment, Yakasai said the Buhari administration has done nothing in dealing with the security situation of the nation.
The politician identified poverty, unemployment and illiteracy as the genesis of banditry in the Northern region of the country.
Yakasai admonished the new crop of political leaders to be intentional with programmes and policy actions to tackle the security challenges facing the region and Nigeria as a whole.
He said, “Let me, first of all, say that the problem of insurgency started in the South; Niger-Delta Avengers and the rest of them.
“Also, after the civil war, the abandoned arms were from the South. It was later on that it extended to the North because of reasons of large population, poverty and unemployment. So, they are now agitating and this is the reason why there is banditry in the North because these people are unemployed. You don’t get people who are gainfully employed involved in banditry, whether in the north or the south.
“I believe those in power in the future would begin to think on how to address these issues because unless they are addressed, the problem would continue to persist. We have the population, unemployed and uneducated, and they need to be educated and employed.
“There will be people in power in the future who will try to address the root cause of the problem by providing education, employment opportunities and so on. We have large arable lands to be cultivated and so many dams lying waste, there is an opportunity for three-crop agriculture per year, one from rainwater and two from irrigation, from the dams.”
Yakasai who is from the Northern part of Nigeria said though the region has been in power more than the South, it has little to show for it because leaders have personal agendas and no actionable policy programmes that would be beneficial to the populace.
“Political leaders must come up with programmes to address unemployment and eradicate literacy, not only in the north but in the also in the south,” Yakasai said.
He added: “What happened to the Niger Delta Avengers and all of them? They are not there, you don’t hear of them anymore because of the discussion initiated by the government.
“I don’t like to appear unnecessary critical of the present regime but this is why I was not happy with the present regime from the beginning till today. Now, they are trying to make up but if you have a programme before you come to power, particularly in the case of our present President who contested election three times and failed and succeeded on the fourth occasion, I believe he should have all these things on the tips of his fingers.
“Insecurity in Nigeria now is all over the country and it is too late now for Buhari administration to initiate programme, They are trying to address it to be best of their ability but certainly do not have time. One and half years to the time that remains for them and such a programme needs time, it is not a thing you can think of overnight.”
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