…Insecurity, sorrow, abject poverty, mono-economy are contrary to the dreams and vision of our great past leaders
Senator Abubakar Kyari representing Borno North Senatorial District in this Interview with DESERT HERALD Newspaper said with the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as leader of Nigeria, it seems the nation has just gotten a fresh independence. According to him, insecurity, sorrow abject poverty and other problems being faced in the country today were not envisaged by the heroes of independence. He spoke on other issues including the insurgency in the North East, the need to encourage the vigilante groups as well as rehabilitate them when peace is restored. Writes OBUTE JAEMES.
My name is Senator Abubakar Kyari. I represent Borno North Senatorial District in the Senate.
Do you think Borno and other states in the North East will soon get out of the problem of insurgency?
First and foremost I will like to thank the Almighty Allah (God) and also commend Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari for showing purposeful leadership that is required to run this country. He has shown commitment required to tackle the problem of insurgency in the North East. The commitment has also gone down from the Special Adviser on National Security, to Chief of Defence Staff to the Service Chiefs and other security agencies. They have also exhibited handsome attitude by moving to Maiduguri, the epicenter of the insurgency. The success recorded so far is as a result of this purposeful leadership and commitment. So we have high hope that by God’s grace peace shall be restored to Borno State, other states in the North East and entire Nigeria.
As a representative of Borno North Senatorial District in the Senate, what do your people expect from you?
Like as I said, right now the number one problem bedeviling our people is the issue of security, lack of peace. So there is no meaningful development you can take to where there is no peace. I will do everything within the limit of my power to assist the Federal Government and the president achieve goal set out in Borno North, Borno State and entire North East to restore peace and thereafter in rebuilding, restructuring and rehabilitating the devastated areas.
Meanwhile I do not loose sight of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs. They are in a very critical condition. The suffering of the people became so glaring during the recent Sallah period. You could see so many of healthy families who could not afford a ram. This is a yearly religious obligation. Though there is nothing wrong if you could not afford a ram, for a healthy adult not to afford a ram for his family in a yearly cultural or religious obligation, you know what it implies. This is very sad. So I’m still calling on the government to seriously look at the challenges of the IDPs with the view to tackle them.
Recently one of the army chiefs in Maiduguri while appealing to the people to cooperate with the security agents to battle the insurgency, advocated the establishment and sustenance of vigilante groups. Do you borrow such an idea?
I have not read that I’m just hearing it from you now. As you are aware, “Civilian JTF,” a vigilante group arose as result of the need to defend the communities and assist the Nigerian Armed Forces. They have been doing a very wonderful work and have secured a lot of towns in Maiduguri and other areas in Borno State. They need to be encouraged. But my concern is how do we rehabilitate and put them into good use after peace is restored? The courageous ones need to be encouraged and given gainful employment. They stood against tyranny and insurgency. I keep saying that they are the ones which make the population and all of us go to sleep at night. I believe with their assistance and renewed vigor of the Armed Forces, the target set by Mr President will be met.
What is your impression of Nigeria @ 55?
Nigeria at 55 is a mixed feeling for me. I know those that fought for Independence did not envisage that at 55 years later we will still be where we are today. I believe their dreams and aspirations were more than that. We have seen trials and tribulations over the years. From coups to civil war, to insurgency and all kinds of calamities that are avoidable. Some of them were as result of bad leadership. I believe if the tenets of founding fathers, heroes of independence were properly adhered to we will not find ourselves in such a sorry state today.
Another issue is over dependence on one commodity for a source of income. We all know what happened to some of the states that could not pay the salaries of their workers because of the fall of a world price of a single commodity. We called ourselves giant of Africa but just a fall in price of crude oil there was confusion. This shows the danger of mono-economy. We are back to austere regime. We were not in such condition when the going was good but we did not save for a raining day as a country. These are failures of the past.
We thank God we have a new beginning. It appears we have a fresh Independence now with the emergence of President Buhari. So it is as if we are starting afresh. The kind of leadership that is required in the past but was missing is what he is giving us now. These are my mixed feelings
However, they are some positive things we have also recorded. After 55 years we are still united as a country. This is another achievement but for developmental issues, I think we are very far away from the dreams and vision of our forefathers.