By IKENNA EMEWU
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President in the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari suggesting ways out of the sinking sands Nigeria stands on.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the days of President Goodluck Jonathan in the letter of May 3 advised Buhari to tap into benefits of history and find solution to the drifting country into the abyss of insecurity.
He called the attention of the president to the imminent danger that awaits the future of the country unless something is done urgently.
Anyim emphasised that neither military action nor foreign intervention or assistance would lead Nigeria out of the present doldrums, insisting that only Nigerians talking to Nigerians would.
He advised Buhari to create an avenue whwre the people of the country of diverse backgrounds would air their grievances and get assurance of reintegration and re-enacting brotherhood would calm frayed nerves.
He former Nigeria’s third citizen said: “I have decided to do this open letter just to be sure that it will get to you, because I suspect that the private one did not get to you. Most importantly, I would not have bothered to write you this letter if the unfortunate and avoidable circumstances we have found ourselves in, as a nation, have not continued to fester to the magnitude of threatening the fabric of the nation. This letter, therefore, is to re-convey my earlier suggestion which, I want to believe, did not get to you.”
He reminded him that: “I wish to note that every violent agitation originates from a non-violent agitation that was not attended to. Today, Nigeria is bedeviled with violent and non-violent agitations. It is also a fact that the current violent agitations originated from non-violent agitations e.g.,Boko Haram started as a non-violent procession; the herders/farmers clashes which has degenerated into a deadly conflict with many states now bloody theaters of war; ethnic conflicts in Kaduna, Ebonyi, Cross River, Benue, Plateau states etc. which are escalating to an unmanageable scale.”
In suggesting a way out, he tasked the president to hear angry Nigerians, seek advise and walk the country away from an impending calamity.
One of the suggestions he said is: “I am to add, that it must be known that military actions or even foreign help alone cannot bring permanent solutions to ethnic conflicts or nationality agitations. Mr. President, you need to create a platform to hear Nigerians out.”
Anyim coached that: “I make bold to recommend that Mr. President should make history by empaneling another commission of inquiry to inquire into the violent and non-violent agitations in Nigeria and make recommendations on the immediate-, short- and long-term solutions as a way of first de-escalating the rising tension in the land and a process for the renewal of our march to nationhood.
It is important to note that in a democracy, no action is deemed successful or completed until the buy-in-of the people is secured through a democratic process. This buy-in- is an imperative that is yet to be pursued in the fight against violent agitations in Nigeria. I must say that as long as the people are not part of the process of finding solutions to the conflicts, a permanent solution will be a mirage.
Anyim listed what he said would be the benefits of the commission and listed them
The de-escalation of the current tension in the country and creation of a platform for exchange of ideas.
ii. It is a natural Governmental process of addressing challenges of public importance. The report of such a commission will put in proper perspective and provide basis for further action.
iii. It will offer the citizenry the opportunity and platform to share their concerns and to be heard. This helps to build confidence and reduce animosity and mutual suspicion.
iv. It identifies the immediate and remote causes of the current challenges and provide a framework for their resolution.
v. Such a commission will aim not only to unravel the remote and immediate causes but also determine the various dimensions and define them accordingly. E.g.
democratic agitations will be separated from violent crimes to the understanding of all. It will also capture the reasons for the agitations and the Justice thereto.
vi. Such a Commission will propose immediate-, short- and long-term solutions and develop a roadmap towards addressing them. Such roadmap used as a national reference document would guide further interactions and process for implementation.
vii. Such document will be the foundation for a new Nigeria anchored on negotiated settlement derived from the legitimacy bestowed by citizen participation and the credibility of the commission.