Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Exclusive: A Peaceful Cross River Is Possible – Dansuki

Daniel Asuquo, Member representing Akamkpa/Biase Federal constituency

In a recent media chat with Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo, the member representing Akamkpa/Biase in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly, and a governorship aspirant of the PDP come 2023, he spoke on a wide range of issues notably security and how a peaceful Cross River State can be possible.

According to him, the state was bedeviled with security challenges before the EndSARS protest was hijacked, but very little or nothing was done to change the status quo.

"What I witnessed in the state after the hijacked EndSARS was akin to military invasion of a country. The security architecture of the state was outrun in every sphere except for very few places. Granted their successes, the possibility of doing further exploit was very high. I would not ascribe our success in quelling the situation down to man but divine. It's the reason why I said before now that the security of Cross River State needs an apostolic mission".

"Like I said earlier, it is not about me, but it is about you. It requires our collective effort to combat the menace of insecurity in the state. We need to do this urgently in order that we may not plunge ourselves deeper into the cesspit of destruction. I appreciate some of us that are beginning to see the folly in the siege mentality we see every day where service has been made inconsequential".

We are in a serious security miasma and the way out of it is not through resentment or attempting to score cheap political point, but a conscious effort aimed at addressing the cause and remote cause of insecurity. Society more often than not look at cause and overlook remote cause. This is like placing the cart before the horse. I am not saying that we can get it all 100% perfect, but we can cut the problem to size with this approach".

Take for instance, some of the challenges in the society is caused by widespread anger propagated by a failed system. Many people see themselves as living in a fool's paradise. And so, buying all the security apparatus, beefing up the security network without a conscious effort at reorganizing our institutions to make the system work is like looking for a refrigerator in Iceland, there is a disconnect. To genuinely seek for the best security network, we must first of all connect with the people and address some of the challenges, first, through need assessment. There is deep-seated resentment among the various segments of our society, even among the security agencies. Who knows, we might even be sitting on an explosive. You saw what played out during the hijacked EndSARS".

"There is serious tension everywhere, not just political tension but economic, idealogical, religious, social and even generational tension. On the youth, there is intense anger, frustration and abuse perpetually imposed on them which has impoverished them and they see themselves as victims of political profligacy and economic mismanagement".

"For the peace we desire, no one should be excluded, not even the famed dissidents and detractors, the disgruntled elements and the armchair critics. I felt in love with the approach of General Ibrahim Babangida. At the peak of your criticism, he will invite you to lead the change you religiously preach after careful studies. Your exploit in the area will be accompanied with sabotage and all of that. They were deliberate efforts to see how you can turn things around. This was also to tell you that most of the issues he was faced with in governance were because of sabotage by people. However, we won't have that luxury because every kobo means a lot to us at the moment". 

"Our security quagmire requires a religious pursuit of reconciliation and peace. Every stakeholder must be involved in the security set up. I am saying this because, our native wisdom of handing over monies for instance to anyone that pilfers in the family has always worked because he/she will always ensure the safe keep of the money. We could begin to look at some of the remote cause of some of the social vices we are plagued in and means of addressing them. By so doing, we will gain insights into strengthening our institutions".

"I tell you solemnly, if it requires that the contributions of people in the hinterlands is what is needed to bring peace to Cross River State, inasmuch as the peace is genuine and has not negative colouration or will be inimical to anyone or our state, we shall surely go there. Cross River State must be peaceful under my watch because we shall all be involved"

"Peace is a dynamic process. It does not just happen. Peace is the fruit of justice. Peace does not just occur irrespective of the moral disposition of the individuals in the society. It is predicated on a prior commitment on the part of the human agents to truth and justice", he concluded.