The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), has called on the Federal Government to name the sponsors of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
The organisation, which further asked President Muhammadu Buhari to deal decisively with the terrorism financiers, made the call at a one day round table discussion on ‘Insecurity in Nigeria and the Way Forward’ which was held in Abuja on Monday.
According to the convener of the event, Rev. Fr. Stephen Ojapah (MSP), it had become imperative that sponsors of insecurity in our midst must be specifically identified; adding that their motives involved destabilising the system.
He said, “Insecurity has set Nigeria on the reverse gear. Our Nation has suffered untold hardships and setbacks. Bandits and other terrorist organizations have had a field day. Causing havoc to all citizens of this country either directly or indirectly.
“We are going through a lot in this country. Insecurity has taken over the land. Virtually every part of the country is not safe. Our schools are not safe, and it is a source of concern for many of us. We can’t be living in a country where schools are being closed down because of insecurity.
“How do we intend to progress? How will investors come to our land? That is worrisome. As religious leaders, we are concerned that Nigeria has been making motions without actual movements.
“We are, therefore, advising the government to go after the sponsors of insecurity. We are aware there are people sponsoring terrorism. It’s not enough to buy Super Tucanos and gadgets while leaving the sponsors. It won’t address any security problems.
“So, let the government make public those who are supporting terrorism in this country. We need to know them and deal with them. To us, the centre of gravity for Nigeria’s insecurity revolves around the sponsors of violence. Their motives involve destabilising the system. It is all about power and control. There are people who have made up their minds that this country will not progress.”
Speaking also, the President of KAICIID Fellows Nigeria, Dr Awwal Abdulsalam, said maintained that Nigerians deserve to know what the government was doing concerning the tracking and arresting suspected bandits since it ordered the compulsory linkage of all SIM cards with the National Identification Numbers (NIN).
He also lamented that the education system in the country had been hard hit by the activities of bandits, saying that it portended a bad omen for Nigeria’s future.
Abdulsalam said, “Unsafe schools in the country are one of the devastating consequences of insecurity in the country; it is cascading and likely to cumulative into the future. It is a very sad situation and that is why we are adding our voices to calling on the government to solve this issue because if it continues, there is going to be a serious degeneration in our educational system. It is a very sad situation.
“Nigerians are wondering what has happened after the NCC re-registration of SIM cards and linkage with the NIN. Why are the bandits still using the telecommunication networks? Why do we even need to shut down the communication networks, if it is possible to profile who made a phone call, and at what time? People are also asking; where are the drones? Where is the national surveillance system? Bandits can be spotted wherever they are hiding even in microscopic degrees, with technology at the disposal of the government and security agencies.”
On the role women can play in curbing insecurity, Hajiya Lantana Abdullahi of the International Dialogue Centre, said: “The problem of insecurity has been exacerbated because the voices of women who bear the hottest brunt of the violence have not been heard enough in the conversation to address insecurity issues in the country.
“When a crisis happens, men are able to run, but every mother has to search for how to protect her children. Ironically, women are under-represented in the security sector, even when negotiations are happening with these bandits and terrorists. The thinking is usually that the voices of women are not relevant, but we know that there are women who also play roles to support terrorist activities. We don’t want to be viewed as only the victims; we are also credible actors that can support peace and development.”