- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 07:18
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 441
Former Defence Minister General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma yesterday said the level of insecurity in the country was turning Nigeria into a failed state like war-torn Somalia, and urged state governors to rise to the challenge.
“I am an optimist. I keep telling myself each time we appear to be stumbling as a nation, I tell myself, ‘we shall muddle through.’ But believe me, in the last two months I’ve began to wonder, the North, our house, is on fire,” Danjuma said, apparently referring to the Boko Haram insurgency that has bedevilled parts of the North for the past three years.
“Nigeria is becoming a Somalia. Somaliasation of Nigeria is taking place right now. We have to sit down and face the truths; get to the root of our problem and find solutions to these problems. The responsibility resides with us.
“Those of us who call ourselves northerners, our house is on fire! Our house is on fire. Let’s not deceive ourselves, let’s look at ourselves, face ourselves and tell ourselves the truth and find solutions to our problems.
“The chief security officer of every state in Nigeria is the governor, where are our northern governors? Where are they? Right now, Borno is a failed state, Jigawa is almost a failing state, Kano is threatening to be a failed state. Kano, of all places, where are we going? Where on earth are we going?
“We hear talks of multi-million naira fences around Government Houses, what about the citizens? We have to search our minds and find solutions to these problems,” he added.
Danjuma served as Army chief in the 1970s and as Minister of Defence between 1999 and 2003.
Also speaking, former Nigerian envoy at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule, said Nigeria must be saved to save and move Africa forward.
“All the religions of God teach us the same thing. The moral values told by all the religions of God are the same thing: peace with your God, peace of the mind, peace of the fellow man is the teaching of Christianity, the word Islam means peace. Love your neighbour as thyself is another teaching. Be your brother’s keeper is common to both religions,” he said.
“We are no longer our brother’s keeper. That is not how it was in the past. What is happening in Nigeria today and indeed Africa is not in our character. Our past leaders laid a solid foundation for Nigeria. They went into politics to serve and not be served. To give, but not to take. They rated this country above their personal interest. They respected themselves irrespective of their tribes and religion differences because of Nigeria. They have dreams that Nigeria will be peaceful, that Nigeria will be united, a dream that Nigeria will be industrious, a dream that Nigeria will regard one another as brothers.
“Today there is insecurity in politics, immorality in the society, corruption in the economy, lack of creativity in literature.”
Former FCT Minister, retired Gen. Jeremiah Useni, also queried the northern governors for doing little to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency and for paying lip service to education and other socio-economic development sectors.
He said if the Almajiri schools were to be left for the Federal Government alone to build one school each year, it will take 19 years to build the schools across the northern states when some states have about four government houses built with billions of naira.
“How can we say we don’t know where Boko Haram is and yet they are killing us every day? But the main people they should go to they are not going there, that is my complaint,” he said.
Former Vice Chancellor of Ahamdu Bello University Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said the 1914 amalgamation of Nigeria was a mistake. He said some other countries forced together by colonialists like India and Sudan have broken up. He added that Nigeria was the only remaining state surviving the amalgamation and that Nigerians should complement their brotherly love that have seen the country surviving to further unite the country.