A GROUP of prominent Nigerians under the platform of the National Summit Group (NSG) has called on the Federal Government and the security agencies to use the carrot and stick approach on the Boko Haram insurgency. The leaders feared that if the authorities failed to take decisive actions, the pervasive insecurity could undermine the corporate existence of the country.
In a statement issued by delegates from the nation’s six geo-political zones after a meeting in Lagos yesterday, which was read by the Chairman of the NSG’s National Working Committee, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, the group urged security agencies to be more proactive in their intelligence gathering operations. It urged Nigerians, especially community and religious leaders, to provide security agencies useful information while the government works out more strategies to curb the current security challenges.
Yakassai also asked the government to consult and engage all stakeholders to reach a dialogue with Boko Haram members in the North the same way it did during the militancy in the Niger Delta region . The forum asked the government to be sincere and refrain from paying lip-service to fight against corruption by prosecuting persons and institutions indicted in corruption-related probes.
The group asserted that it was only a “Peoples’ National Dialogue” to produce a “Peoples Constitution” that could guarantee the survival of democracy in the country. Fashola said the time had come for the government to stop treating encroachment into the country’s territory by illegal immigrants with kid-gloves. “Encroachment of our territory by illegal aliens should be treated strictly as a serious offence by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) or Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). Such people should be apprehended and profiled for repatriation.”
The representative of the SGF, Mrs. Esther Gonda, a Permanent Secretary for Special Services, urged the media to use its powers for the nation’s growth. Yakassai has however disagreed with the Senate President, David Mark, over his remarks that the insecurity situation in the North had daring consequences on the stability of the country. Yakassai described the views as reckless and unbecoming of somebody who occupies one of the nation’s top offices.
Yakassai told reporters in Abuja that there was no way the crisis in 18 local councils of the country by the Boko Haram insurgency could lead to break-up of Nigeria, which has 774 councils. But a Jos, Plateau State-based group, Centre for the Advocacy of Justice and Rights, has condemned the critics of Mark, saying such attacks were borne out of “malice and ill-will.”
The centre’s Director, Gad Peter, said Mark’s comment should be supported by all Nigerians, especially the northerners.