By Seun Adeuyi
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, former President of the Senate has made some recommendations on how President Muhammadu Buhari can tackle the issue of insecurity ravaging the nation.
The former Senate President, in response to the kidnapping of 12 police officers, called on the president to tap into Nigeria’s brightest and most experienced minds in order to curb the rising cases of insecurity, especially in the area of banditry and kidnappings.
BBC Hausa had reported that suspected bandits kidnapped 12 police officers along Katsina-Zamfara expressway.
The officers, who are assistant superintendents of police, were kidnapped ten days ago, according to the report.
In a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle, @bukolasaraki, Wednesday night, Saraki urged Buhari to engage former presidents, retired officers in curbing the issue of kidnapping in the country.
He urged the president to urgently call for help for the menace of kidnapping in Nigeria.
Read his full tweet below:
“After posting a tweet on the kidnap of the 12 policemen yesterday, the thought of the damning implication that sad incident has for our country continues to disturb me.
“The kidnapping issue is not a problem for President Buhari alone. It is a problem confronting and threatening all Nigerians.
“I am convinced that this is a problem for all of us, and as such, I advise Mr. President to urgently call for help from all and sundry. All hands must be on deck. If we don’t address the problem of kidnapping urgently it will engulf the entire nation.
“In this country, we have brilliant, serving and retired intelligence officers. We have experienced serving and retired military and other security officers who have had some of the best training available in the world in dealing with this type of problem.
“We also have former Presidents and heads of state who have great ideas on security. And, we have traditional rulers who, by their background, have strong insights they can contribute on this issue.
“What is more, in our Nigeria there are some of the best IT brains who can help deploy technology towards solving the kidnap cases and eliminating this security threat.
“Then there are many countries whom we have a good relationship with and who have confronted similar problems in the past and used technology and modern techniques to overcome them.
“These countries, I am sure, will be more than willing to assist. They know this is a problem threatening our existence as a country. In my humble opinion, Mr. President, should tap into these abundant resources because what we have on our hands is a national emergency.
“From my own perspective, wherever the idea is coming from – be it from a retired security officer, an opposition leader or even a foreign country – what is important at this juncture is to put an end to this national menace.
“I am sure that if all these people are ‘locked’ up in one room together and with the abundant talents and resources that will be available to tap into, they will most certainly produce a workable, action plan that can immediately be implemented to solve the kidnapping problem.
“The fact is that there is no Nigerian or friend of Nigeria who truly loves this country and is concerned about this matter that will not heed President Buhari’s call.
“This national emergency is threatening the very existence of our country. We cannot leave it to the government alone as if it is solely Buhari’s problem. It is not. We have left it for too long.
“This is a problem that was initially limited to one part of the country. However, it has long since spread across the country.
“During the tenure of the 8th Senate we discussed this problem many times. For example when some of my colleagues like Senators Kabir Marafa and Isa Misau were consistently speaking on the floor about how the problems of kidnapping, banditry and other criminalities were destroying the economy in their part of the country.
“On other occasions, we observed a one-minute silence for the victims. At other times, we organized security summits with a view to finding a solution.
“During that period, some people felt I was simply giving prime time to some of my colleagues to grandstand on the floor of the Senate in order to discredit the Buhari Presidency or unjustifiably vilify their state governors.
“Sadly, the problem is still here with us today.
“The problem of kidnapping is not only threatening the peace of the country. It is creating food insecurity and constraining people’s means of livelihood, particularly in the rural areas where 70 percent of the food produced in this country comes from.
“Farmers are no longer going to farm as they fear for their lives. In such circumstances, how can we talk of self-sufficiency? It is time we tackled the problem head on.
“These are my thoughts and they are borne out of a genuine desire to get this problem resolved once and for all.
“As somebody once said, it is not just enough to pray for victims. No, we must find a permanent solution that will prevent any reoccurrences.”