A former President of the Senate, Pius Anyim, has added his voice to the current agitations and insecurity in parts of the country, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a credible Panel of Enquiry to investigate the agitations across Nigeria especially by aggrieved minorities.
In the open letter dated May 3, 2021, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, reminded President Buhari of his promise to tackle insecurity and reclaim territories held by Boko Haram insurgents.
“Mr President, on your assumption of office, the most striking promise you made to the nation was to tackle insecurity with emphasis on reclaiming the territories occupied by Boko Haram. I must admit that you did approach the insecurity challenge with commendable determination but, unfortunately, the challenge, with time, became hydra headed and no doubt went beyond your control,” he wrote.
Anyim also recalled that he met with the President on October 5, 2018, in company with his then Chief of Staff, the late Mallam Abba Kyari, during which he made some suggestions, with Buhari asking him to wrote a brief of those suggestions.
“I have decided to do this open letter just to be sure that it will get to you, because I suspect that the private one did not get to you. Most importantly, I would not have bothered to write you this letter if the unfortunate and avoidable circumstances we have found ourselves in, as a nation, have not continued to fester to the magnitude of threatening the fabric of the nation.
“This letter, therefore, is to re-convey my earlier suggestion which, I want to believe, did not get to you,” he said.
The letter partly read: “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.
“I make bold to recommend that Mr. President should make history by empanelling another commission of inquiry to inquire into the violent and non-violent agitations in Nigeria and make recommendations on the immediate, short- and long-term solutions as a way of first de-escalating the rising tension in the land and a process for the renewal of our march to nationhood.
“It is important to note that in a democracy, 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.
“It is a natural governmental process of addressing challenges of public importance. The report of such a commission will put in proper perspective and provide a basis for further action.
“It will offer the citizenry the opportunity and platform to share their concerns and to be heard. This helps to build confidence and reduce animosity and mutual suspicion.
“It identifies the immediate and remote causes of the current challenges and provides a framework for their resolution.
“Such a commission will aim not only to unravel the remote and immediate causes but also determine the various dimensions and define them accordingly, e.g. democratic agitations will be separated from violent crimes to the understanding of all. It will also capture the reasons for the agitations and the justice thereto.
“Such a commission will propose immediate, short, and long-term solutions and develop a roadmap towards addressing them. Such a 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.”