By Haruna Salami
Against the backdrop of incessant killings, insurgency and kidnapping in Nigeria, Senator Shehu Sani has said the greatest legacy President Muhammadu Buhari should leave behind is a “united, peaceful and one Nigeria”.
Sani, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, made the call Thursday in Abuja in his response to an award conferred on him by the management of Heritage Television, London.
“Our country today is going through a difficult moment. People are being killed by terrorists and bandits, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria. Women and children are being slaughtered. Mourning has become a daily affair.
“This award today, is a challenge for each of us to call government to account and to lend support in ending this mindless daily bloodletting. So much blood has been shed in northern part of Nigeria.
“There is terrorism/insurgency in the Northeast, bandits in the Northwest part of Nigeria and ethno-religious violence has consumed the states even within the middle belt like Benue.
“Peace and stability are important ingredients in national development and national prosperity of any nation.
“Therefore, the greatest legacy that Buhari should leave behind is a united, peaceful and one Nigeria.
“It is important for people in position of authority to understand that until the lives of people matter, nothing else matters,” he said.
According to the former Senator, “it doesn’t matter the length of roads or bridges or airports or railway stations you construct, while people are being slaughtered everyday, it makes no sense. Human lives are more important than any infrastructural development.
“It is important for us to unite as a country, both Muslims and Christians to stand up in defence of unity, challenge terrorists and bandits, who are a danger to our country and a serious threat to our lives,” Sani further said.
He said those people who are opposed to self defence, should provide security and safety for the people, adding that “the failure of security apparatus to protect the lives of people begets the idea of self defence, since Nigerians have the capacity and ability to defend themselves.
“I have said it always that when the security apparatus of the State cannot protect the people, then the people become lambs in the forest of hyenas and wolves.
“Terrorists and bandits killing innocent people in Katsina are the same killing people in parts of Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger State. They are the ones in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state; the killers of people in Southern Kaduna are terrorists and bandits.
“The use of the word reprisal or revenge is simply to justify the atrocious and unspeakable activities of bandits.
“The killers are not attacking Christians or Muslims, it’s terrorists attacking the people of Southern Kaduna of which majority of them are Christians. We should call a space, a spade.
“There’s genocidal attack in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the North and we must tell the truth, no matter how bitter it is.
“I will use this opportunity to call on the President to call leaders of Southern Kaduna; the youths and elders to hear and have first hand, unbiased and unambiguous knowledge of what is happening there with possible solution and how to bring an end to the crisis.
“You can’t solve the problem of the house without listening to the tenants and landlord of that house.
“It is also important for somebody like President Muhammadu Buhari to setup a Presidential Committee on finding solutions to kidnapping and banditry and violence in Northern Nigeria.
“He should get people with experience and knowledge beyond governors of states, people like Senator Markarfi, Martin Luther Agwei, Dangiwa Umar; these are people who at one time or the other solved problems without partisanship and addressed the problems squarely.
“It is unfortunate that the forests; the countryside of the North is littered with corpses and politicians are standing on those corpses to talk about 2023. What should preoccupied the Northern part of Nigeria today is ending the killings and violence in the North.
“President Muhammadu Buhari still has opportunity to address these challenges. It’s not late, but he to do what is right at this time because some of us will not sit on the fence, but speak to power,” Sani said.