The 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, believes that the constitution of permanent peace committees at various strata is needed to confront the menace occasioned by the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
Speaking to selected journalists at his Miyetti Allah residence in Kaduna to mark his 91st birthday yesterday, the deposed Sultan said “if all citizens from the grass roots up to the national level are carried along in the peace and development process of the country, the insecurity challenges presently experienced by Nigeria will become a thing of the past”.
The Sultan, who was deposed by the late General Sani Abacha’s administration, said his birthday gift to Nigeria as an elder statesman was his conceptualized “1993 Peaceful Co-existence Plan” to confront the current security challenges in the country.
“By the special grace of Almighty Allah, I am 91 years by Islamic calendar. But, for the rest of you Nigerians who own the future of this country, I am not expecting any birthday gift from you; rather, I am offering this plan to the nation to be used in addressing the present security challenges,” he said. “This is the 1993 Peaceful Co-existence Plan that I came up with and sold to the Babangida administration to tackle the then intra - and inter-states crises and it was applied to resolve the Jukun and Tiv crises in Taraba and Benue states respectively. I believe strongly that, if it is used now, it will help bring the security challenges confronting Nigeria to an end.
In the eight-page booklet entitled “Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki 1993 Peaceful Co-existence Plan” distributed to journalists, Sultan proposes the constitution of intra-state, state, zonal and national committees comprising the key traditional rulers at each level.
He added that “the intra-state committee should meet quarterly in the months of February, May, August and November; state committee should meet four times a year in the months of March, June, September and December, while zonal and national committees should meet twice and once a year respectively in the months of April and October, and January for the national committee”.
“However, intra-state should try as much as possible to solve the problems. Any problem that cannot be solved at the intra-state level should be taken to state committee, then to zonal committee and finally to national committee,” the document read.
According to him, government need to adopt and apply the plan in its quest to ensure peace and development of the country, adding “when everyone is involved in the daily running of the communities and states that make up Nigeria irrespective of their religious background, there would be no reason for anyone to carry arm.”
Meanwhile, two persons have been shot dead in Maiduguri, Borno State by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect.
The development came just as another explosion hit the troubled town yesterday evening.
The attacks came barely 48 hours after the killing of a former local government chairman and his guest at another part of the state.
The killing, according to sources, occurred at about 10pm on Sunday night in a house at Ummarari ward beside the 7Up depot.
The assailants were said to have stormed the house and headed straight to the apartments of their targets and thereafter shot them.
One of the deceased friends told journalists: “You know the other occupants of the house have fled before we got there this morning (Monday) but somebody told us that the gunmen came at about 10pm when everybody was fast asleep. They said the killers went to the first target, an Ebira man called Dele from Kogi State since his apartment was closer to the main entrance leading to the house. They then headed for Mr. Ore’s room and shot him too. I am just coming from the place and as I am talking to you now, his corpse is still lying on the floor in front of his room.”
It was learnt that one of the deceased, who was identified as Mr. Ore, from Kabba in Kogi State was already planning to relocate to his home town before the incident occurred.
“He had initially refused to relocate with his family last year when they were going but his younger brother wanted him to leave Maiduguri at all cost and that was why the brother promised to send money to him this week so that he can pack his belongings. Unfortunately, swe just informed the brother now that the man has been killed,”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Samuel Tizhe, an assistant superintendent of Police, said the command was yet to receive the report of the killings.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) could not also react to the incident as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, multiple explosions hit Maiduguri metropolis hours after the news of the Sunday killing filtered into the city. Residents were thrown into anxiety as people within the Gamboru Market around the Custom areas ran in different directions, following the blast while thick smoke billowed from the area.
Sources said the explosion which occurred at about 4pm may have been planted in a drainage around the area. But an official of the Joint Task Force (JTF) who would not want to be quoted said the billowing smoke was caused by an electric machine which was gutted by fire.
In another development, gunmen yesterday attacked a police divisional office located in Phase 3 of Sharada Industrial Area of Kano metropolis, opening fire on the policemen manning the station. An eye-witness, one Shu’aibu Mohammed Sharada, told LEADERSHIP that “the gunmen, all of them young men in their early 20s, came brandishing very sophisticated guns around 6pm. They then opened fire on the policemen on duty, who also responded, and the ensuing fire-fight lasted about an hour.”
Continuing, Sharada said as soon as the gunmen started shooting indiscriminately, “residents started running helter-skelter for cover. Many of them were injured, but no one could be taken to hospital immediately, as people remained indoors out of fear.” He added that “they first asked some people they met at Nana Petrol station and asked them to leave the place, as they were about to embark on a massive operation.”
Another eye-witness, Dahiru Yakasai told LEADERSHIP that after the first attack on the Sharada police division, “the gunmen returned and launched another onslaught on the same place. The exchange of fire between the gunmen and the police was very intense. There was a big explosion, and we suspect they bombed the police station.”
Kano police command confirmed the incident but declined to say whether there was casualty or not. They also could not confirm whether the attack was carried out by Boko Haram, as the group had not claimed responsibility at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, sources told LEADERSHIP that the spokesman of Boko Haram, Abul Qaqa, who is being held by the SSS, has been making useful statements. On interrogation, he confessed that many of their members have for long been tired of fighting the Nigerian state, but that they had to hold on because of fear of reprisal from Imam Abubakar Shekau, leader of the group. He said that those who denounced the fight were recently slaughtered like rams and a worse fate awaits anyone who betrays the group or denounces its membership.