From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Senator Shehu Sani, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to invite stakeholders from Southern Kaduna, to know the real problem behind the security challenges bedeviling the region, saying listening to only Governor Nasir El-Rufai will not end the continuous killing of innocent Nigerians.
He also said the President needs to setup a Presidential Committee to be led by the likes of General Martin Agwai, Col. Dangiwa Umar, Sen. Makarfi, among others, to find a way of ending the security challenges in the area.
Sani disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.
The former lawmaker said, “the first thing the President needs to do is to give an audience to the people of Southern Kaduna.
“Invite their elders, political leaders, youths and women, selected from all the LGAs and communities in Southern Kaduna, and meet with Mr President, and listen to the problems of the area, and find solution to it.
According to him, “The next thing the President needs to do about Southern Kaduna; is to setup a presidential committee of not more than 6 to 7 people, which will include people like Col. Dangiwa Umar, Lawal Jafaru Isah, Senator Makarfi, General Martin Agwai, and some few others who have been able to achieve a lot in terms of restoring peace and order in Southern Kaduna.
“A Presidential Committee comprising of these people would be able to give the president a realistic objective and fair assessment of practical steps that are needed to solve the problem.
“One of the reasons why the problem in Southern Kaduna cannot be solved, is that, the President only listens to the governor, and the governor and the people of Southern Kaduna are at par with each other.
“How can you solve that kind of problem? He asked.
“So, the names I have mentioned, I believe have ideas to contribute to the efforts that is aimed at finding solution to the problems of that region.
He however warned that, “We should also not confuse the problem in Southern Kaduna; the killings in Southern Kaduna are perpetuated by bandits and terrorists, raiding villages, raping women, killing children, displacing people; is different from 3 to 4 decades of religious violence between Muslims and Christians, that should not be confused.
“Because what people are trying to do now, is to say the killings are reprisals or vendetta or revenge, they are not revenge”, he stressed.
“No Muslim has killed a Christian, and no Christian is killing any Muslim for now. It is terrorists that are targeting the people of Southern Kaduna and killing them. So, people shouldn’t bring what happened in the last 3 to 4 decades, and try to justify, a pure terrorists activity in that part of the state. That is my own view on that.
On ending security challenges in northern Nigeria, Sani who represented Kaduna Central in the Senate from 2015 to 2019, said, “There is the need for leaders like General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdulsalam Abubakar, to lead a conference in the North, that will bring all religious and political leaders together, traditional rulers, civil society and see how the likes of General Aliyu Gusau, can come together and see how our religious, ethnic and tribal issues in the North can be addressed.
“These stakeholders conference should resolve with a template on what we intend to achieve in the next 10 to 20 years”, he explained.
“The resolution of such conference should be institutionalised in all the States in Northern Nigeria.
I think this is very important”, he maintained.
“This include finding solution to banditry and violence in the North-West, the Tiv-Jukun violence between Benue and Taraba States, the perennial crisis of religious violence in Plateau State, finding solution to what is happening in Southern Kaduna, and addressing the minority issues and religious disharmony that exist between Muslims and Christians.
“I think there is nobody that is properly placed that should be empowered by all the 19 Northern States and the Federal Government to lead a retreat or a conference of all northern leaders, irrespective of their political affiliation to find solution to these problems, like Generals Gowon, Abubakar; Elder Paul Onongo, Lema Jibril and others, can all come together and fine solution to these problems.
“We need to have a working document for peace, order, unity and end to our religious crisis and security challenges in northern Nigeria.
Speaking on the Nigeria Bar Association’s recent refusal of Governor Nasir El-Rufai to speak at their event, the former lawmaker said, “I believe invitation is personal, they invited him, and as far as is an association, people who are members of that association protested, and the leadership of that association now decided to disinvite him, so it is in the right direction of what they have done, there is nothing wrong with that.
“There are other platforms the Governor can go and speak, there is Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum; Nigeria is never shortage of forums.
“But, the NBA, have raised fundamental issue about respect for the rule of law and court order, which is very key.
According to him, the Association decided to withdraw its invitation because the actions of Governor El-Rufai have been in conflict with the ideals of the association.
“So, the NBA has done is right, and is in the spirit of their own association”, he stressed.