Second Republic President of the Senate, Dr. Joseph Wayas, has recommended a carrot and stick approach to the insecurity problem facing the country, saying that was the method used by the ex-president Shehu Shagari to quell the Maitatsine insurgency in the early 80s.
Wayas said Shagari made it clear that he was ready to talk with the insurgents and that he went to Kano for that purpose when the riots broke out in the early days of his administration which he said achieved results.
“I remember that a few days or weeks after we were inaugurated, I and the President, Shehu Shagari then went all the way to Kano where there was Maitatsine crisis and we were ready to talk to these people ourselves even at the risk of being attacked by them, but they saw our sincerity and seriousness and that helped to bring down the issue of Maitatsine
“Therefore, when you have such situation, government steps in and regulate seriously and not by paying lip service. I am not saying government is paying lip service but am saying that they must handle the situation seriously,” he said.
“I am for serious security management so that you can look at both sides of the coin. People in the same country, with the same rights of citizenship are supposed to be free. On the other hand there is limited individual freedom to the extent that your own freedom does not infringe on the right of another person.
“There’ll always be a problem even in those advanced countries where we copied from. The government on the ground must always be the one to protect and defend citizenry rights. This is very important. If they think they have guns and all sorts of things, the government has better ones, more sophisticated and stronger and if they realize it is their responsibility to protect the ordinary people of the country, the menace can be controlled,” he said.
He said in respect to whether President Goodluck Jonathan can contest the 2015 presidential election that it is not a court matter but that of the people’s conscience.
“The constitution gives the right of an individual to contest and if another person feels injured by such rights and he goes out, he’ll soon find out whether his own views are popular or unpopular. But my advice is that we are still at the early stages so we should avoid controversies as much as we can so we can help our democracy to grow and to stand very strong,” Wayas said.