Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says expecting
President Muhamadu Buhari to do anything more than
what he has done is akin to beating a dead horse.
He spoke in Abuja Monday at a retreat on inclusive
security organized by the Global Peace Foundation and
Obasanjo said: “The truth is this: President Buhari has
done his best. That is what he can do. If we are
expecting anything more than what he has done or what
he is doing, that means we’re whipping a dead horse and
there is no need.
“Then, where do we go from here? We cannot fold our
hands. I believe that is part of what we’re doing here and
what we continue to be doing. How do we prepare for
post-Buhari? Buhari has done his best. My prayer is that
God will spare his life to see his term through.
“But what should we do to make post-Buhari better than
what we have now? That is our responsibility now,
because it concerns all of us.”
Obasanjo also said that military action alone would not
effectively end the insurgency in the country.
He said the stick-and-carrot approach should be used to
tackle the security challenges.
“People talk of political will, but I talk of political action.
Political will is not enough. It must be matched by
“The problem of insurgency will not go away, if all we are
using is the ‘stick’ (military action). We may suppress it,
and keep it down a bit, but we have to use ‘carrot and
stick’ together to effectively tackle the problems,”
The former leader also advocated state policing, saying
“Security in Nigeria is local, it must be addressed locally.
Legislation should be able to tackle that before the next
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the
Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji
Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged leaders to stop
“Parties are accusing one another of not doing enough to
tackle insecurity. I think that’s the major problem we’ve
been facing in the country…We believe we have a
problem and the solution is close…Peace is very
important. Without peace, you can’t even worship God.
We find people killings themselves. We must go back to
the holy books and work according to those books for
lasting peace,” he said.
President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Samson
Ayokunle, urged the elite to sustain pressure on the
politicians to ensure that the successes recorded in the
country’s effort to fight insecurity were not botched.
Ayokunle, represented by the Deputy President of
Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Archbishop John
Praise, said: “There has to be justice and fairness, if
peace is going to reign in the country.”
For the spokesman of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF),
Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed,
citizens must consider merit and competence in
choosing their leaders for Nigeria to make progress.
He said: “We don’t have a problem with each other. We
have a problem with the leadership we have in the
country. We’re not talking to that leadership, and exactly
to the degree that we continue to fight and blame each
other. This is the key problem facing the nation.”
An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said: “We can
sit here all day and talk to each other, but if we leave
without following up our decisions with actions, we’ve
wasted our time. Unfortunately, that’s what is happening
in the country today”.
The national leader of Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF),
Chief Edwin Clark, said: “The Nigeria we’re in today does
not provide anything for the common man. If oil is
produced in your land and exploited, you should at least
be rehabilitated with the resources. The problem in the
country is hunger, because the people don’t have any
means of livelihood anymore.”
Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Audu
Ogbeh, said Nigeria was drifting away from the normal.
Ogbeh, said: “Something is fundamentally wrong with the
economy. We’re a nation of importers of everything.
Today, it is impossible to build a factory. The youths
can’t cope because the economy just doesn’t allow
President, Middle-Belt Forum (MBF), Bitrus Pogu, said
the people of the region were suffering unprovoked
attacks by bandits.
Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Okey Emuchay,
said: “The insecurity in Nigeria is having a huge socio-
economic impact on the country.”
An Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, said the
bandits were out to revenge the killings of their families
by the military through airstrikes.
He said that the bandits were victims seeking justice,
warning that it was important for government to meet
with them urgently before they become uncontrollable.
Gumi said: “We all know that bandits initially don’t kill
people. They only kidnap people to get money, but
something has metamorphosed and turned them into a
Frankenstein monster that kill people just for the
pleasure of it.
A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor
Attah, said: “Nobody is satisfied with the present
condition. We must seat down and renegotiate. We must
get together and get the terms and conditions that we
must help to stay together.