Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a commission of enquiry to aggregate the expectations of various segments of the country as a prelude to finding lasting solutions to the general insecurity in the country.
In an open letter to the president, the former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) said the 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.
“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.”
Anyim recalled that he first made the suggestion in a memo to the president through his late Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari after he visited Buhari in October 2018. He, however, regretted that the document probably was never delivered to him.
According to him, “every violent agitation originates from a non-violent agitation that was not attended to. Today, Nigeria is bedevilled with violent and non-violent agitations.
“It has become apparent that the foundation of the various agitations in Nigeria today is that the comfort provided at independence by the Willink’s Commissions Report is no longer working.”
The former Senate President recalled that the Willink’s Commission was set up in 1957 to “ENQUIRE INTO THE FEARS OF MINORITIES AND MEANS OF ALLAYING THEM” when “the Colonial Administration was confronted with reservations by minority tribes in the three regions of Northern, Eastern and Western Nigeria about fears of domination by the majority tribes.”
Anyim explained that the most outstanding recommendation of the Willink’s Commission as a long-time solution is the inclusion of a Fundamental Human Rights Chapter in the constitution that protected all citizens, including the minority stock from any governmental and or majority bloc abuses.
“In a democracy” he observed, “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.”
Other benefits of the commission he stated include de-escalation of the current tension and creation of a platform for the exchange of ideas; put in proper perspective and provide a basis for further action; offer opportunity and platform to share citizens’ concerns and to be heard.
It will also identify immediate and remote causes of the current challenges and provide a framework for their resolution; unravel remote and immediate causes of agitations and determine the various dimensions and define them accordingly.
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