A presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has called on President Muhammed Buhari to, as a matter of national emergency, establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as the first step to stabilise Nigeria and begin the process of national healing and reconciliation.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) deputy governor made the call at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, where he hinted that insecurity and nationhood of Nigeria were evident in President Buhari’s recent controversial remarks about the security crisis in the South-east region in the context of the 1967-1970 civil war.
He said the president could start with a declaration of May 30 as a national holiday to honour the millions of lives lost in the Nigerian civil war, as currently mark “unofficially by many Nigerians as Biafra Remembrance Day.
Moghalu warned that regardless of the current phase of turbulence in the country today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has no reason not to conduct an election in 2023, as already been widely speculated in some quarters.
The economist, who expressed regret that the current leadership of the country has failed to approach the present crises in the country in its peculiar nature, said he cannot rule out the fact that there are political motives behind the current security crisis in the country.
While he condemned the attacks on security personnel and the touching of INEC offices in the South-east region by unknown gunmen and the reported extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians by security agencies in the region, he said he believes “strongly in the viability of a united Nigeria anchored on equity and justice, and as a leader, I do not believe in a surface approach to the issue.
“The root cause of these separatist agitations is injustice,” he said, noting that the federal government has failed to adopt a root-cause approach to the agitations for secession in different parts of the country.
According to him, “President Buhari should as a matter of urgency establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission comprised of seven independent members of high reputation and relevant expertise; one from each geopolitical zone, and one international member assigned from the United Nations or from South Africa, with six months mandate to examine specifically the events of 1966 to 1970.
“Buhari should invite all secessionist agitation movements’ actors to national dialogue in order to give them a hearing with a view to addressing credible, verifiable grievances.
“However, we condemn the reported extrajudicial killings of civilians, where security agencies would just pick up young men suspected to belong to separatist movement and just shoot them.”