Former secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, former senator, Shehu Sani and human rights activist, Chidi Odinkalu, could not agree on why armed bandits have taken over northern Nigeria during a security summit held via zoom on Thursday.
The theme of the summit is “Nigeria’s Insecurity: Addressing the challenges of Banditry and Kidnapping”
Yusuf blamed the states and federal governments for not addressing the socio-economic problems bedeviling the people.
He said governments were not doing enough to mitigate the problem that has bedeviled the country, especially in the northern region.
Yusuf, who was the keynote speaker, made the controversial comment that banditry and social unrest in the north was a result of accumulated and generational injustices to Fulani hetdsmen.
“These are people who have no land in this country, their cows are rustled, injustice from the stakeholders, communities leaders,” he said.
He also chronicled how banditry and kidnapping started from Edo and Kogi States, and later spread to other parts of the country with the Funalis introduced to the business due to their nomadic nature.
But the former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani, disagreed with Yusuf saying injustice was not a reason to take to arms.
He argued that every Nigerian and ethnic group had all suffered injustice in the country one way or the other.
In his words: “We all have our grievances, but we don’t have to resort to arm. Bandits are herdsmen, and their acts have economic implications”.
Sani called for nomadic education to bridge the communication gap between the aggrieved parties and the government.
Chidi Odikula also towed the line of Sani, saying Fulanis have no “monopoly of grievance” in the country.
“If all the ethnic groups in the country decided to ventilate how they have been marginalised, i don’t think their will still be peace in this country,” he said.