FIRST Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has said the state of insecurity in the country was getting out of control and called for an immediate convoking of a national summit of major stakeholders to save the nation.
Ninety-four year old Yakassai spoke to the Nigerian Tribune against the backdrop of preponderance of armed robbery, insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and abduction in parts of the country.
Last Friday, more than 70 abducted persons were rescued by law enforcement agents in Katsina State, where hundreds of secondary school students were abducted from their hostel, while bandits have laid siege to Niger State, forcing the state government to send a distress message to the federal authorities.
Yakassai, who is among the few surviving nationalists that partook in the various constitutional conferences that led to Nigeria’s independence from Britain in 1960, said the current security challenge confronting the country was beyond one individual as the problem “is so spread and nationwide.”
According to him, calls that the service chiefs be relieved of their duty as panacea was a different matter as the problem demands a concerted and spirited effort of all stakeholders across the zones.
He said the pragmatic step towards arresting the situation was in holding a national dialogue by representatives of all the six geopolitical zones for the sole purpose of fashioning out the appropriate recommendation that the government must faithfully implement.
However, he said such national synergy has to be facilitated by the government for it to succeed.
Asked for his suggestion on the state of insecurity in the country, he said: “What we need is a national synergy, where people from different parts of the country can be gathered; let’s select a few to discuss the issue and I am sure words of wisdom will come forward from the gathering and a solution may be found.”
But he said he has an apparent misgiving on the initiative: “My only concern is that even where you are able to get that, how do we get the government to accept the aftermath? However, I think that the problem is so spread and nationwide that we need a synergy; we need to put all hands on deck to come up with real solutions that will be forwarded to government. I hope that the government would take out of it because it is a nationwide problem. Yakassai premised his pessimism on the fact that he did not know the state of mind of the government on such initiative.
“I don’t know what is in their mind. I think the way for everybody to assess the readiness of the government to listen to that advice is for the government to take the initiative of inviting Nigerians from different parts of the country and ask for their opinions and advice for national meeting. Pick people from different geopolitical zone; people who can contribute, we need something like that. The situation is getting out of hand and one individual cannot solve the problem. It requires a national effort; we must come together and hold a national dialogue to advise on the way out. I believe that if the government will take the initiative, people will have confidence that whatever solution that will be recommended, the government will gladly act on it.”