Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye yesterday urged the Federal Government to alter their strategies to halt the worsening security situation.
They said it was impossible to continue doing things the same way and expect a different result.
To the Sultan, it is time to talk less and more.
They spoke at the commencement of the three-day national security summit organised by the House of Representatives Special Adhoc Committee on National Security.
The Sultan, a retired Brig.-Gen. said since he took office about 15 years ago, there had been several talk shops with little action.
“We have talked and talked. We have talked at the Northern Governors’ Forum level; talked at the national level. In the last few months, we have had serious gatherings like this with the highest leadership of this country.
“We are here once again on the same issue of national security. Enough of these talks. Let us work; let us walk the talk. The more we sit here and talk, the more time we waste in getting real actions.
“We know the problems. Yes, it’s important to sit and talk. But it’s more important to implement what we talked about.
“We can’t just continue to talk and not implement, then come back maybe four months later for another summit to talk again because we don’t implement whatever comes out from such forum.
“There are certain things our leaders do. You say something in public and they clap for you. You go back to your comfort zone and throw everything away.
“I call on our leaders to fear God, do what’s right, don’t look at ethnic, religious or personal interest while you’re carrying out your duties.
“We have had so many resolutions on the floor of the House. How many of them have been implemented? It’s high time we put aside ethnic and religious profiling. Stop profiling criminals and call them by their names.
“No ethnic or religious groups will be happy that every day, you are calling his side of the coin the bad one, even when you know there are good ones which are larger in number.
“Unless we come together and look at the greater figure which is Nigeria and work for the country to move forward, we will continue having these problems.”
The revered monarch called for social media regulation.
“There are so many things you can’t say in public especially with these media people, the worst which is social media.
”As lawmakers, what do you do about social media? I’m not saying ban social media but regulate it. We’ve seen it happen all over the world. Why can’t Nigeria borrow from that?”
Oba Ogunwusi said the youths should have been represented at the summit.
It is very idiotic and stupid for us to be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. We will continue to get the same results. Let us be very truthful and honest to ourselves in this country. We all know the problems.
“How well are we carrying along these people in that age bracket? Who is representing that age bracket in this hall? The answer is no one. We are not engaging them at all.
“But whenever we want to go for political posts and appointments, we go back to them. We know the good, the bad and the ugly in their category.
“As traditional rulers, they are the most active in our system. Let us tell ourselves the truth, they are hungry and they are angry. I repeat: they are hungry and they are very angry.
“All of us that are here, I will be very happy if anybody can raise their hand and say: ‘I can go to my constituency, my local government area, and I can stay there in peace for one week.’
“Who can do it, including the Senate President and the Speaker? But you left the traditional rulers; you left district heads and the baales to continue to stay there. And you are saying all will be well in this country.”
Oba Ogunwusi said there was the need to strengthen the local government.
“In this gathering, the Senate President mentioned the key factor – the collapse of local government. It has collapsed. Let us be very truthful to ourselves, it has collapsed completely.
“That is the only arm of government that is the foundation of this country; you don’t have any other foundation. We are only building on a castle that has completely broken down. That is the foundation that will gather the most active age bracket for you in this country…
“We should talk very seriously. This issue of security is not the problem of the service chiefs; it is not the problem of the lawmakers; it is not the problem of the executive arm of government; it is a problem of all of us.
“We need to engage them and separate the corn from the chaff. We know the good and the bad amongst them.
“We can easily separate them by engaging them. Draw them closer. If we engage the active people, it will be a lot easier for us.”
President Muhammadu Buhari praised the National Assembly for organising the summit, emphasising the need for collaboration in finding solutions to national challenges.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the President said: “Insecurity impacts on the citizens and the economy and the governance machinery without regard to political, religious, ethnic or other affiliations.
“It challenges the foundation of our nationhood and stands in the way of our achieving our highest ambitions for Nigeria.
“I am certain that we shall overcome just as we have done many times throughout our history.
“However, success at this time requires that we set aside all other considerations and commit ourselves to a common endeavour in the national interest.”
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said it was time to match words with action.
“The leadership of the armed forces and security agencies are mindful of the concerns that are being expressed across the country.
“We promised that, in line with the directive of the Commander-in-Chief, we will take every measure necessary to bring peace to our fatherland,” he said.