Former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has urged the Federal Government to enter into dialogue with insurgent groups in the country for peace to reign. In a statement signed by the former President on Sunday, which came on the heels of the attack on the Emir of Kano, General Babangida urged the Government “to exploit the option of dialogue.”
The statement reads inter alia: “It is not in doubt that our dear country is undergoing serious security threats on a regular and unbroken basis. The reported cases of terrorist attacks are becoming frightening and seriously call for security alert by all and sundry. Despite spirited efforts by government, it is disturbing that this ugly trend has refused to depart from us, reason why government must change tactics and methods in handling this security challenge.
The attack on the Emir of Kano which reportedly left four people dead is a wake-up call to all of us. What could be the motive? What does anyone stand to gain by attempting to kill an Emir that is nearing eighty? The Emir of Kano stands out as one traditional ruler who does not seek favours from those in governments and outside it, and who over the years, has been able to live an exemplary life to the admiration of all. His record of achievements, the stability and candour he has brought to bear on the throne, are virtues that will live for posterity. May Allah continue to grant him good health for today and the future.
It is against this backdrop that I find it condemnable for anyone to attempt the Emir’s life. I wish to advise the Federal Government to exploit the option of dialogue with members of the insurgent groups in order to arrest this prevailing drift in our national security. The use of force has proven to be inadequate and ineffective to checkmate this ugly trend. We must therefore put hands together to find a more rewarding and meaningful end to this security concern. Dialogue is my number one preference in this regard. Government must also encourage positive discourses among its political appointees delivered with respect and rendered in temperate language to soothe the mood of the nation. Language of force will not help us in our strong determination to address this insecurity problem. We must engage ourselves constructively and in a manner that puts the interest of the country far and above other partisan consideration.
I wish to use this opportunity to condole with the Emir and the people and Government of Kano State over the sad loss of Palace Aides. May Allah, in His mercy and grace, reward them with Aljanah Firdaus. Amin.”