By Hassan Zaggi
In order to address the killing of innocent residents of the Southern Kaduna by terrorists, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has advocated for justice, fixing economic marginalization and the prosecution of persons responsible for the killing.
These, according to him, are the panacea to ending the killing and also ensuring that the impunity doesn’t worsen.
He made the assertion at the ongoing Nigeria Bar Association Annual General Conference on Thursday during a special conversation.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila was also featured during the session.
Charting a way forward, Osinbajo said: “I have been involved since 2001 through the work of the Macedonian initiative, an NGO that focused on providing relief materials to displaced persons in Southern Kaduna and several other places especially in North Central part of Nigeria. There have been judicial commissions and all sorts, but the problem remains.
“So, there is the need to address the underlying issues. You can’t sweep under the carpet, justice and the cries of economic marginalization.
“The fact is that we must prosecute persons responsible for these murders or otherwise impunity will worsen. And also support those who have lost their bread winners.
“The mindless callous killings in Southern Kaduna are heartbreaking. And again we must condole those who have lost loved ones and those injured or who have suffered loss of property. These tragedies are unacceptable and they are avoidable.”
On what the federal government is currently doing, the Vice President, noted, “first is the improvement of security in Southern Kaduna. Now, we have a military base there, for the first time. We also have a lot of Air Force surveillance.
“We have about 500 conventional and Mobile Policemen in Zangon-Kataff and Kaura Local Government Areas and then the combined military team of the Army and the Navy who are also on ground 24 hours. This is basically to just take care of the volatile situation there.
“The President has also had several Security Council meetings and I have attended all of those, where the issues were discussed and the possibilities of engagement have also been discussed.”
Speaking on his personal experience, Osinbajo said: “I have also engaged with community leaders in Southern Kaduna and also I have engaged with the governor to look at what peacemaking efforts are possible.”
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity,
Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the Vice President disclosed that “some of the peacemaking efforts have been fairly successful as recent peace efforts between the Zangon-Kataff and the Fulani communities would yield positive results.
“But there is also a lot of work going on to ensure that some of these fundamental issues are being addressed and it’s an evolving situation, but it’s something we can’t afford to ignore and it’s gone on for far too long and it’s redressable and possible for us to resolve.”
Also commenting on the nagging issue of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, the Vice President advice those having concerns on the law to seek for amendment of the relevant sections from the relevant bodies.
According to him: “We have a process by which this can be redressed. Whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the view of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put into a proposal that will be brought to the National Assembly for consideration for amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued.
“We are in a democracy and there is a process by which things can be done and that process is the one where you bring forward amendments to the National Assembly and they will do whatever is considered useful in the circumstance.”