Nigeria: Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Ooni, Others Weigh Options to Tackle Insecurity

11 June 2021

Abuja — Eminent Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), met in Abuja yesterday to find solutions to the insecurity and distrust among the people that's driving secessionist agitations.

Although details of the nine-hour meeting, held behind closed doors in Abuja were not made public, THISDAY gathered that they resolved to seek audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, to pass to him their suggestions on how to tackle the challenges facing the nation.

The meeting, which was convened under the auspices of the Interfaith Initiative for Peace was also attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; President of the Ohanaeze-Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, and Emeritus Archbishop of the Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, who with the sultan were the conveners of the meeting.

Other prominent leaders that attended the meeting were a leader of the South-south, Chief Edwin Clark and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders left the venue without disclosing their resolutions.

They rebuffed entreaties from journalists to brief them on their decisions.

Some of them who were pressured to speak merely said the agenda was centred around insecurity bedeviling the country.

A former Minister of Agriculture and former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh, told journalists that the meeting discussed things that will be for the goodness of the country.

"We discussed things that are for the good of Nigeria. I am not permitted to speak on the outcome, you will get the communiqué later," he said.

When asked when the leaders will meet Buhari to further discuss the insecurity crisis, Ogbeh said it would be soon, but no exact date was decided yet.

Onaiyekan also said the meeting, among others, looked into the issue of insecurity in the country.

When asked to give more details on the proceedings at the meeting, Onaiyekan said: "I am not authorised to talk. We discussed everything and you will get the communiqué."

However, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, was more forthcoming on their deliberations.

He said: "It was a very fruitful meeting all geared towards making sure that all the challenges we are passing through are addressed. Issues of insecurity in the country was key on the agenda and it was a holistic discussion that covered every aspect of the challenges we are currently facing."

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