As part of efforts to tackle the insecurity challenges that have bedeviled the country, former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar, on Monday called on relevant stakeholders that can help in identifying the problems and proffering solutions for a united and peaceful Nigeria to come forward.
Abubakar said this in Minna, Niger State while expressing fears over the incessant security challenges in parts of the country.
He said: “There is anger in the land and the voices of reason are drowning very rapidly.”
He disclosed that some of the problems Nigeria faces currently as a nation, especially on issues and matters around the peaceful co-existence and security, call for urgent actions by government and other well meaning Nigerians.
Abubakar, while speaking at a two-day roundtable discussion on how to address issues of national concern, organized by the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies, solicited for a forum that can help in the accurate identification of the problems and solutions for a united peaceful Nigeria.
According to him: “Nigeria is going through a period of trial amidst growing tension and resentment all over the country.
“There is anger in the land and the voices of reason are drowning very rapidly.
“It is clear that the situation requires that we all live up to the expectations of a nation that puts so much value in elders and leaders.
“We are all here as Nigerians who share responsibility for the state of our nation.
“Therefore if any forum can help in the accurate identification of the problems and solutions for a united peaceful Nigeria, let us be counted among such fora.
“This roundtable discussion has participants drawn from across the country with prominent qualified personalities who represent interests and perspectives as regards to the nature of the issues and solutions needed to resolve them.
“It is the Center’s contribution to the search for solutions to the problems we are currently experiencing.”
While pointing out that the roundtable is not a mini-National Conference for review of the Constitution, General Abubakar said: “The outcome will be made available to every Federal, State and other Institutions for possible consideration and further action.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the roundtable discussion, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, reminded those agitating for outright separation of the country as the solution to the current crisis that they should take a second look at the experiences of other countries.
According to Gambari: “There can never be Military solution to any conflict.
“As such, there is no alternative to dialogue in resolving conflicts.
“To bring conflicts under control, you must look for a common ground.”
Gambari, a former Nigeria Permanent Representative to the United Nations, suggested that team building therefore must go hand in hand in conflict resolution, adding: “It will build foundation for conflicts resolution.
“The forum should not be a mere paper work but should take real actions.
“A lot is expected from this forum.
“We must not allow things fall apart.”
Amongst participants at the two day forum are: former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi; leader of Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Josephine Anenih; and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande.
Others are presidential candidate of Young Progressive Party for the 2019 election, Kingsley Moghalu; Etsu Nupe/Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago; representatives of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakon; National Security Adviser, Babagana Mon guns; Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Nda Isaiah; and Prof. Kuta Yahaya among others.
A communique is expected at the end of the two-day forum taking place in Minna, the Niger State capital.