A former President of the Senate, Pius Anyim, has implored President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate a special panel to investigate the agitations across Nigeria especially by aggrieved minorities.
This was contained in a letter issued to Buhari dated May 3, 2021, and titled ‘Re: The State of Insecurity in the Nation: My Suggestion.’
Anyim said, “The perilous threats to our national sovereignty at the time you took over the reins of power in 2015 were the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East; the armed agitation in the Niger Delta region and the IPOB agitation in the South-East.
“Mr President, on your assumption of office, the most striking promise you made to the nation was to tackle insecurity with emphasis on reclaiming the territories occupied by Boko Haram.
“I must admit that you did approach the insecurity challenge with commendable determination but, unfortunately, the challenge, with time, became hydra-headed and no doubt went beyond your control,” he wrote.
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Anyim recalled that in the build-up to securing Nigeria’s independence, the British colonial administration was confronted with reservations by minority tribes in the three regions of Northern, Eastern, and Western Nigeria, “about fears of domination by the majority tribes.”
In order to find a lasting solution, he said the administration appointed a commission to “enquire into the fears of minorities and means of allaying them.”
Anyim further recalled that the Willink’s Commission of 1957, which was named after its chairman, Mr Harry Willink, produced a far-reaching report after extensive hearings of the complaints and suggestions from the people.
“It can be argued that no other document in the history of Nigeria has had a far-reaching impact on our political structure than Willink’s report,” he noted.
The former Senate President stressed that the document guided the debates in subsequent constitutional conferences before the independence; gave structure to the emergent Constitutions and indeed gave health to the socio-political structure of the nation at independence.
According to him, the greatest achievement of the Willink’s Commission was that its report provided the colonial administration and the nation an in-depth understanding of the nature, dimensions, and magnitude of the fears of the minority tribes.
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