Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa
Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, Wednesday identified injustice, bad governance and poverty as the primary causes of conflict and insecurity in the country.
Similarly, Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kasim Shettima, warned that unless the Federal Government addressed the underlying factors posing as threats to the country, the tendency for everyone to be consumed was in the malaise was obvious.
Both governors spoke at a roundtable session during the 2012 Press Week of Kaduna State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
On his part, Yakowa disclosed that the security committee set up by the Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) would soon submit its report in February 2013.
Represented at the occasion by his Deputy, Mukthar Ramalam Yero, at the governor said the issue of security should not be left to the government alone as individuals have a role to play.
Yakowa stated further that good governance was very key to peace and stability, stressing: “If you have justice and good governance, and everybody gets what he supposed to get, everybody who has done wrong is being punished correctly, I think we are going to have a final solution to some of our challenges and problems.”
According to him, “Justice and fair play is the only solution to insecurity problem in the country, whether in government, private sector and in homes. Even in your own house, as a family man, between you and your wife, if there is no justice, there will be conflict, and between you and your children, if you are not just to them, there is going to be a conflict.
“So the same thing with government, justice is very important, and is key solution to any kind of conflict, or any kind of serious issue that you want to address in any society. It is our duty as individual to be just to ourselves, to our family, and neighbour. If we do this, I think we have started the foundation of trying to address some of the key issues and problems that we are being surrounded with.”
Speaking further, he said: “If you look at the current challenges we are having, it is not only in the Northern part of Nigeria, in fact the challenges are everywhere in Nigeria, they are everywhere in Africa and everywhere in the world.
“But since we are talking specifically about the Northern part of Nigeria, I would like to say that the governors of this Northern part of the country are well disturbed with what is going on in the North, and that is why they decided to put in a committee on security to find out what is the real problem, and what are the solutions to the problem.
“This committee is going to present its report, hopeful in February next year to the Northern Governors to look at it to see how the issue of insecurity can be addressed in this part of the country. Also, we must address the issue of poverty and unemployment because as they say, an idle mind is a devil workshop, so if they are gainfully employed the people will hardly get the time to go and engage in anything that will create problem for them.
“So I will like to assure you that the government of all the Northern parts and also the 36 States are trying to see how they can address the issues of insecurity and job creation. With time by God grace we are going to address this issue.”
In his address, the Chairman of the Kaduna council of the NUJ, Mallam Yusuf Idris, said insecurity in whatever form was not something that would make anyone smile as all forms of violence comes with its peculiar type of insecurity.
“It was because of this desire to have the much needed peace in this part of the country that we invited His Excellency, Alhaji Shettima Bukar, Governor of Borno State, to be our guest speaker, and to present a talk on “Security Challenges in Northern Nigeria: Causes and Solutions.”
Meanwhile, Shettima, while speaking at the event, said governors should learn to run an all inclusive government, where all citizens would be given a sense of belonging.
Represented by his Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, the governor said running an inclusive government would suppress the grievances of the people, who may feel dissatisfied.
“To me every leader, every rich man is in the potential danger of becoming victims of conflicts, if we fail to address the issues of hunger, poverty, disease, unemployment, ignorance and citizen apathy to leadership. Governors must operate an all inclusive system, which will tend to give all citizens a sense of belonging, thereby suppressing the grievances of citizens who may feel dissatisfied,” he said.
According to him, northerners have no reason to be poor based on the huge natural endowment of the country, pointing out that, “it is sad that, Nigeria, even as the most populous country in Africa and indeed very rich, the fortunes and commonwealth of the nation has failed to trickle down.”
He stated further that: “In the midst of this poverty and squalor, we talk about the arrogant and contemptuous display of wealth by the rich in our society. The gap between the rich and the poor is so wide that the poor becomes ready and willing tools to be used by the rich.
“The Boko Haram phenomenon, which derides education, is a sad reminder to the effect that our attitude further estrange us from education. Whatever form of education we accept to acquire will do us a lot of good. Instead of going to school, we find our children on the streets, hawking wares, with some doing menial jobs.”