May, 22, 2013
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State yesterday took a critical look at the insecurity in the country, and divided the blame between governments, politicians, traditional rulers and religious leaders, parents, and communities.
“We are all guilty,” was his verdict.
Kwankwaso was speaking at a meeting with the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of security challenges in the North, aka Amnesty Committee. He traced the security problem to the failure of the nation’s leaders to take full responsibility of governance and offer the dividends of democracy to the people.
He also regretted that family values are no longer being upheld. “Parents no longer take responsibility of their family,” he said.
In a statement with important implications for the lifestyle in the North, he said, “We have a situation in this part of the country where parents give birth to 20 to 30 children, chose only two out of them and send the rest away to God knows where.
“Children are sent to places that they don’t know. They are left to fend for themselves. We have a situation where you go round the city and find garrison of children—able-bodied youths begging.”
He said that having been abandoned by their parents, those children “grow up to hate themselves, hate their parents, hate the leaders, hate the government and the society. They feel they were deprived, they feel injustice and they become enemies of the state and constituted authorities; and thereby becoming vulnerable to crime and violence.”
According to the governor, “These are the bitter pills we must swallow—that we are all guilty of what is happening today. We have to wake up and rise up to the challenges. What started in Yobe and Borno is everywhere in the North, it may eventually envelope the country if we don’t check it now. It is a national issue that must be addressed.”
The governor, also a former Defence Minister called on the government and Nigerians to eschew greed and ensure that what is meant for the people goes round.
To end the Boko Haram insurgency, he challenged the leaders to embark on long-term planning, and on incumbents to plan only for their chance at a second term in office while the actual business of governance suffers.
“As a former Defence Minister, I advise that the rule of engagement must be strictly followed by soldiers deployed to those areas [in which] we have emergency rule,” he cautioned. “I appeal to those affected in this insurgency to come to the table and dialogue. We have to reduce the issue of greed, if we cannot eliminate it. We have to ensure that the right thing is done under the worst circumstance. We also have to control our emotion,” Kwankwaso noted.
The chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Kabiru Taminu Turaki, commended Governor Kwankwaso for his efforts towards ensuring security of life and property in the state, even in the face of the insurgency.
He said the Committee was in Kano in furtherance of its nation-wide consultation geared towards initiating dialogue for peacefully resolving the insurgency facing the country and the North in particular.
He listed the Committee’s terms of reference to include constructively engaging the Boko Haram sect to dialogue, and in the process restore peace and stability in the country.
The Committee will also seek, within 60 days, a comprehensive and workable framework that will ensure total disarmament.
Turaki observed that in Kano, “We have seen changes taking place as far as the insurgency and insecurity is concerned. Security has so much improved. We want to learn from you (Kwankwaso) how you have been able to do this.
“We are satisfied that Kano is well-secured. We also observe that the state government has rebuilt most of the structures that were affected. We thank you for the bold step you have taken to finding the root causes of the insurgency, by empowering the youths. We have seen how you have been making bold steps to creating opportunities to youths to become self-reliant.”
He also promised that the recommendations of the committee will touch on serious issues that will put an end to the insurgency, and solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders.