Prof Usman: A Million Tucano Jets Won't Stop Banditry


Prof Usman: A Million Tucano Jets Won't Stop Banditry
Prof. Yusuf Usman, a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has stated that deploying a million Tucano jets or militarising the banditry will not address the situation.

He made the remarks on Thursday in Abuja at the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Sociocultural Association's interactive policy discourse and cultural festival, which was geared at addressing difficulties facing Nigeria's Fulani ethnic group.

Usman, who gave the summit's keynote lecture on the topic of 'The Future of Fulani Pastoralists in Nigeria,' bemoaned the federal government's militarization.

Usman, who appeared to be referring to the federal government's recent acquisition of 12 Tucano aeroplanes, remarked that banditry is a social issue that cannot be remedied by a million of these planes.

"Banditry is a social problem, and Nigeria is militarising it even more. The military has a role to play, but there will be no military solution to banditry anyplace in the country."

"Only if we all join in to solve this problem, and it is not the time to point fingers at anyone, because we are all in this mess together, and someone told me that we all carried this 'pregnancy' and gave birth to this monster known as banditry." The soldiers are then summoned to clear up the messes. "I told them, 'You can't do this by yourself,'" Usman added.

He further stated that the threat is generated by two ingredients: drugs originating in Southern Nigeria and guns originating in the core-North and neighbouring countries such as Niger Republic.

He recalled his excursions to the forests with Sheikh Gumi and others, stating that clerics have an important role in fixing the problem.

"Turji (one of the bandit commanders) waited two hours for us," says the narrator. He explained that he waited because he had heard it was a priest. We were also in Niger State, where a gathering of six war commanders from various northern states was held. They waited for us, and it was clear that they held clergy in high regard.

"Not military, but priests and traditional authorities are there to get to the core of these kids." We need to sit down and figure out where we went wrong.

"From Zamfara, we travelled south to Ilesha-Baruten, which is closer to the Benin Republic or Kogi State's border. The further down we proceeded, the more lovely Fulani we were accustomed to seeing with sticks appeared. The sticks have been replaced with AK47 and AK49 up north, and you see kids living on AK47 and AK49," he claimed.

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, a prominent Muslim cleric, shared his concerns about the alleged infiltration of herdsmen by Boko Haram militants.

Gumi reiterated his prior opinion that Nigeria had driven the bandits to the wall and decried the growing anti-Fulani sentiment, stating that while the vast majority of Fulani are wonderful people, a small minority of herdsmen have turned to crime.


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