Former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilous Danjuma, raised the alarm that Northern Nigeria is in the “middle of a civil war”, following the upsurge of insurgency in the region.
Danjuma, who himself fought in the Nigerian civil war, otherwise called the Biafran war, then called on Northern elites to find solution to the problem, saying attacks by faceless persons, in obvious reference to the killings by Islamists groups, notably Boko Haram and Ansaru, had no immunity for anyone.
The former minister, who made the declaration at the special convocation and N50 billion fund raising for Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria Phase II Development Project, held in Zaria, described the attacks as “highly contagious” and have crippled social and economic activities of the region.
Danjuma said: “Our founding fathers sought to create a united and self-reliant society based on respect for human life and respect for the rights of others irrespective of tribe or religion. They would certainly be appalled that, today, the nation is in total anarchy. Human life is very cheap and impunity has become the norm. In the case of the North, the danger is very real indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the middle of a civil war in Northern Nigeria. There is no defined front in this particular war and, worse still,the enemy is faceless and unknown. There is no immunity for anyone.
“This war is highly contagious. Needless to say, the social and economic cost is incalculable. I regret to confess that I have not suggested solution to this problem. It is up to us the elites to get together and brainstorm to solve our many problems. I take this opportunity, therefore, to appeal to the nation for unity. We must unite in order to solve our problems”.
He commended ABU, the premier university in the North, for being the only truly federal university in the country.Earlier, former military president, Gen.Ibrahim Babangida, attributed security and developmental challenges facing the nation to the declining fortunes of the education sector.
Babangida, who was chairman of the ABU convocation, said: “The security, peace and progress we aspire for ourselves and our families are not attainable if the majority of the citizenry remain locked in the traps of ignorance and poverty. Ignorance and poverty are two sides of the same coin. Pocketing one of these coins by any community would surely lead to peace and prosperity for all, while picking the other would certainly result into stagnation, insecurity and anarchy that would engulf everyone.”
The high point of the convocation was the confirment of an award of honorary Doctor of Science on Danjuma.