Emergency rule is not a panacea for peace, ARG warns
By a stroke of presidential proclamation, President Goodluck Jonathan, a few days ago, declared a state of emergency in some parts of the country, namely Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno States. Indeed, the country has been held by the jugular by unprecedented violence and blood-letting, which has left in its wake massive destruction of lives and property, especially in many parts of Northern Nigeria.
We of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) would like to believe that this declaration of a state of emergency is a sign that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration is finally waking up from its deep slumber, and is now ready to grapple with the security challenges plaguing this country. However we are convinced that this is merely a temporary solution that once again falls short of the determined course of action that should finally put this country on the part of progress.
Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) would like to reinforce our position that the insurgency in the Northern parts of Nigeria is only a deep manifestation of the crises of nationhood bedeviling the country, which we have continually refused to fully address. There is no doubt that every part of this country is seething in anger for one reason or the other. The Yoruba people for instance, do not only feel insecure within Nigeria. We do not feel that Nigeria, as it is presently structured, can allow the component nationalities and groups to find full expression for their different aspirations. We, the Yoruba are concerned and miffed that the present structure of the country is a pernicious hindrance to our developmental destination. We are constantly being constrained to move at the developmental pace envisioned since the advent of self-rule in the 1950s, therefore to project to a great future for our unborn generation is fast becoming a mirage.
Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) would therefore like to admonish President Goodluck Jonathan not to rely on emergency rule or militia action in any part of the country as a means to achieving peace. It may bring some temporary succor, but it cannot guarantee long-lasting peace and security. His administration should desist from wasting the resources of the people of this country, but rather expend those resources on lasting peace, rather than this parochial focus on security. The present situation in Nigeria is a watershed, and it presents an opportunity to seek a lasting resolution to how we want to live and co-exist as a country of distinct nationalities, interests and priorities, within this beleaguered contraption called Nigeria. To this end, we hereby call on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately declare a State of National Emergency, and proceed to the National Assembly with an executive bill, with a view to preparing the grounds for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, which would bring all the peoples and ethnicities of Nigeria together at a round-table to dialogue on the future of the country.
We are fully convinced that this action will save this country before its current chapter ends with ….there was a country.