Security Challenges Threaten Nigeria's Unity, says Atiku

By The Citizen

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said there were some enduring challenges threatening Nigeria's unity.

Atiku who spoke on 'creating a culture of peace through service' at the fourth district conference of the Rotary International District 9125-Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday, explained that while these challenges could be considered as part of the pangs of nation building, they stood as threats that could eventually destroy the country.
'Hardly a day goes by without news of fresh slaughter of fellow citizens in one part of the country or the other. We have violent insurgents, armed robbers and kidnappers. Specifically, there are violent insurgencies in the north, particularly the north east as well as the south of the country.

While these may, in a sense, be seen as part of the pangs of nation building, the danger is that we may be proceeding at a pace that would destroy the very nation that we seek to build,' he said.

He noted that the current challenges of insecurity occasioned by the activities of insurgent groups in parts of northern Nigeria has led to massive dearth of economic activities in the region, adding that the Federal Government's recent declaration of state of emergencies in some of the troubled states should not foreclose opportunities for dialogue amongst parties in the zone.

The government recently declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states to cub the activities of the insurgent group, Boko Haram, which it said had consistently threatened the sovereignty of Nigeria.

But Atiku, in this regards said: 'We also have violent struggles between Muslims and Christians, herdsmen and farmers. The words indigene and settler continue to be used as exclusionary tools in the struggle for scarce resources.

He said, 'The economies of Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Kaduna and increasingly, Adamawa states have been badly hurt by this wave of insecurity. Whatever the immediate cause of these conflicts, there is no doubt that the high level of unemployment, poverty and accompanying alienation, especially of our young people have, provided veritable recruiting grounds for these insurgencies and other forms of criminality.'