‘Agitations to secede must follow clear constitutional modalities ’

Senator Waku

Senator Waku

Senator Joseph Waku is a staunch member of the Arewa Consultative Form (ACF). He once represented Benue North West constituency in the Senate. He spoke with JOSEPH WANTU on ongoing agitations across the country and suggested the way out.

Herdsmen/farmers clashes
The herdsmen/farmers’ clash is also a criminal act and I expected the government to have come out with a decisive policy on the matter. I have been told that some states have adopted the policy of creating grazing areas but in Benue State, we are totally against grazing reserves; we are for ranches.

I’m in support of the Benue State government’s policy and I will continue to support any other state that adopts the same idea. In this 21st Century, grazing can no longer be fashionable because locations have been over grown; people have taken farmland and there are establishment of ministries, towns and villages.

MASSOB demands for secession
There is noting wrong in making a demand but in the case of the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) demanding to secede, it must follow the constitutional pattern. There is a law and a mechanism you follow to qualify you for a state creation, it is not different from one wanting to breakup from a nation.

What the group is doing currently is tantamount to treason and a treasonable offence. They want to break up from Nigeria, what are their grievances?
I am convinced most of the people making these bogus demands have never witnessed any war otherwise they wouldn’t be talking about war because there is a price to pay. Again, job seekers, disabled politicians that want to be heard are the ones motivating the agitation. It is an unnecessary distraction.

Niger Delta militancy
The agitations from the Niger-Delta, appears to be the most serious one at the moment because to me the other unrests are mere up-shoots. Agitation is allowed under a democratic existence but it must have a human face. The agitators must make their demands known and not just go into criminalities by vandalising state apparatus that are of benefits to all.

When you are dissatisfied you are free to come out with your demands with the suggestions that will address such desires instead taking the laws into your hands.

Demand for a fresh national conference
The demand or call for fresh national conference is the most irresponsible thought any Nigerian could think of at the moment. What is national conference? There is National Assembly in place where we have duly elected representatives. What is the outcome of the conference, which the immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan organised? It was stage-managed for some few people to spend taxpayers’ money.

APC’s change mantra
How many states in this country are paying workers salaries regularly when President Muhammadu Buhari took over power last year? When the present government took over, there were 27 states of the federation that were not paying salaries. This government inherited a lot of burden.

If this government did not come to power, would you have known that this country took N2.6 billion tax and gave to individuals to go and pray for Jonathan and some people to remain in power?

The government effort in trying to sanitise the system alone is an achievement. I agree there is hardship in the country but that is the reality because change brings many difficulties until things are stabilised. Construction is difficult but destruction is very easy.

Bailout funds for states
This is why the government should intensify efforts to develop other sectors of the economy and not base its earnings from oil alone. The earnings from oil have gone down drastically and it is no longer fashionable for the government and the people of Nigeria. We cannot continue to put all our eggs inside one basket.

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