North epicentre, theatre of violence ― Dogara
• Poor leadership, cause of violence in the region, he says
Immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, decried the moral and physical northern society such that it had become the epicentre and theatre of violence.
From Boko Haram to ISWAP, Ansaru, Albarnawi to farmers/herders conflict, banditry, kidnappings, ethno-religious conflicts, cattle rustling, he noted that the region was confronted with a crisis unparalleled in the nation’s history.
Dogara stated this during the Northern security meeting convened by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), held in Kaduna, to inaugurate the Northern Security Monitoring Committee.
Dogara, who was the chairman of the meeting, noted that due to the economic debasement of the region, the typical northerner was driven by the instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create.
“The North is now the epicentre and theatre of violence. From Boko Haram ISWAP led by Albarnawi, Boko Haram led by Shekau and Ansaru insurgency, to farmers/herders conflict, banditry, kidnappings, ethno-religious conflicts, cattle rustling, etc, we are confronted with a crisis that is unparalleled in our history.
“The death spiral appears unstoppable. Increasingly, it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish us from our enemies. There was no shortage of early warning signs and. as a matter of fact. our philosophers such as the late Sa’adu Zungur of blessed memory had warned that this dystopian era was fast approaching but we ignored all. We are now paying for our collective negligence.
“The North is now in the grip of what Soren Kierkegaard called ‘sickness unto death’ — the numbing of the soul by despair that leads to moral and physical debasement. It has become a society that is driven at its very core by the death instinct, the instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create.
“Our economic debris have become too conspicuous to be ignored. As it is, we are now trapped in a prison of mirrors, where revealed lies are answered with new lies. With all these, it’s like our slow-motion walk to the self apocalypse is assured. We have seen this movie before in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, to name but just a few but not in Northern Nigeria,” Dogara said.
The former speaker decried that Kwara and the Federal Capital Territory were the two states relatively free of crisis and violence, as compared to the other 17 northern states.
According to Dogara, the bane of the challenge facing the region was poor leadership that had continued to fail to galvanise the region on the path of progress.
“A peaceful and orderly Northern Nigeria then was more engaged in the pursuit of justice rather than the pursuit for order. In tackling these problems, we must realise that guns do not kill and killing the violent does not necessarily bring peace except the peace of the grave,” Dogara said.
He added that “violence is taking roots because our leadership model has been exposed as a lie, an empty ideology used to satiate greed instead of addressing social inequality and injustice.
“We are running out of time, it is crystal clear that the North cannot withstand the kind of contradictions that exist now. The North is on fire ignited by us, either by our actions or by what we permit or allow.
“Those who truly love the North must now come out and accept responsibility and begin the salvage mission, bearing in mind Professor Andrew Haruna’s warning – That the North was handed over to us in one piece, we must therefore not pass it to our children in pieces,” he stated.