Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida has called on the Federal Government to take the weekend attack on the Emir of Kano by a gang of gunmen as a wake-up call on the need to beef up security across the country.
He also called on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to dialogue with those behind the spate of terrorist attacks in the country.
Babangida said the attempt on the life of the emir by gunmen was frightening, while indicating that Nigeria was already undergoing serious security threats on a regular and unbroken basis.
In a press statement signed on his behalf by Kaseem Afegbua, his media aide, Babangida said: “The reported cases of terrorist attacks are becoming frightening and seriously call for security alert by all and sundry. Despite spirited efforts by government, it is disturbing that this ugly trend has refused to depart from us, reason why government must change tactics and methods in handling this security challenge.
“The attack on the emir of Kano which reportedly left four people dead is a wake-up call to all of us. What could be the motive? What does anyone stand to gain by attempting to kill an emir that is nearing 80? The Emir of Kano stands out as one traditional ruler who does not seek favours from those in government and outside it, and who over the years has been able to live an exemplary life to the admiration of all.
“His record of achievements, the stability and candour he has brought to bear on the throne, are virtues that will live for posterity. May Allah continue to grant him good health for today and the future.”
Babangida, however, advised the government of President Jonathan to start exploiting the option of dialogue with members of the insurgent groups in order to arrest what he described as the prevailing drift in Nigeria’s national security.
He said the use of force by the security agencies has proved to be inadequate and ineffective to checkmate the ugly trend, adding, “we must put hands together to ensure the means of ending the acts of terrorism in Nigeria.”
Babangida added: “Dialogue is my number one preference in this regard. Government must also encourage positive discourses among its political appointees delivered with respect and rendered in temperate language to soothe the mood of the nation. Language of force will not help us in our strong determination to address this insecurity problem.”