FG Fingers Insecurity as Trigger for Rising Secessionist Agitations

The federal government yesterday 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.

This is coming as the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has declared that a situation in which security agencies only reacted to cases of banditry and abductions is unacceptable and urged them to take the war to the doorsteps of the criminals.

Speaking yesterday during a Town Hall Meeting on National Security, held at the Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,

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 Information 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.

He said 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.
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.

According to the minister, such elite consensus had worked in the past, adding: “This is why we have decided to bring all critical stakeholders together, under a Town Hall meeting setting, to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward.”

The minister said the Town Hall meeting is expected to develop concrete, implementable resolutions, “because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.”
on reprisal attacks on Igbos and their business interests in the North.

It stated: “We the Arewa Consultative Forum stand against all lawless acts of self-help and call on all northern youths to stop such evil plans. They do not enjoy our support.

“The Arewa Consultative Forum believes in dialogue and consultation as a way of bringing peace and normalcy back to our troubled region and nation.”

The forum also condemned the payment of ransom to bandits and called on the hoodlums and insurgents who are holding other citizens as hostages to desist from such ungodly acts.

“No religion that is practised in Northern Nigeria permits such sinful acts like holding other human beings as hostages for financial reward,” the communique said.

It announced the setting up of an outfit called “ARECON Integrated,” to serve as its business arm and industrial hub since the forum itself cannot engage in business activities.

The communique added that already, contacts have been made with the minister of the FCT and some state governors of the North who have promised them land to facilitate the take-off of the company.

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