Stakeholders in Abakaliki, Ebonyi, on Friday called on the Federal Government to adopt a strategic engagement method to de-escalate security challenges caused by identified dissidents.
The stakeholders while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews expressed regrets that the country’s security challenges were speedily snowballing into dangerous developments that could become uncontrollable.
They said that a subtle and strategic approach, instead of highhandedness and military action, would de-escalate mounting security tensions across the nation.
The stakeholders explained that engaging the leadership of dissident groups in robust dialogue would bring better results and also help to isolate the groups with identifiable mission from criminal gangs.
Mr Hyacinth Onwe, a lawyer, said that extra-judicial killing of members of organised dissident groups by state security personnel was increasing current insecurity and armed agitation in different parts of the country.
“Former President Umaru Yar’Adua employed this strategic engagement tactics with the Niger Delta militants while in power and it worked leading to peace in the region.
“President Muhammadu Buhari can still adopt the Yar’Adua formula with the leadership of the Indegenious People of Biafra (IPOB) as well as other identified ethnic militancy groups to stem the slide into anarchy.
“War or military action against these group can only embolden the members, draw more sympathisers to them and lead to the rise of more dangerous militia groups which might jeopardise Nigeria’s corporate existence,” Onwe said.
The legal practioner warned that the spate of insecurity across the country with attacks on security personnel and public facilities by gunmen might degenerate into complete breakdown of law and order.
Dr Joseph Igbo, a Political Scientist and social researcher, said that the festering security challenges with its attendant killings and destruction of public and private property called for moral rearmament by citizens and bold action by the government.
He called on President Buhari to adopt a more diplomatic approach in the handling of the current security situation especially issues relating to ethnic agitations.
He said that the convocation of national dialogue, addressing herders/farmers clashes and engaging leaders of dissident groups would yield better result in resolving the security quagmire.
“Our leaders should do everything possible to protect the citizenry from being slaughtered every day in cold blood.
“Also, every effort must be made to ensure that the current situation does not truncate our democracy and plunge the country into another needless civil war because no nation can survive two civil wars.
“The hangover of the 1967 civil war that ended in 1970 is still very much felt and another experience of civil war cannot even be imagined let alone experienced,” Igbo said.
He called on ethnic agitators and other armed groups threatening the peace, security and unity of the country to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue.
Also, Mr Victor Elom, a civil servant, enjoined the federal government to be more pragmatic and sincere in dealing with the security challenges plaguing the country.
He attributed the current security challenges to perceived domination of the country by a small segment of the population, imbalance in power equation and lopsidedness in appointments. (NAN)