USMAN Yusuf, a former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has charged the Federal government to provide arms to Nigerian youths as part of measures to fight insecurity in the Northern region of the country.
Yusuf said this when he featured on The Morning Show programme aired on Arise TV on Wednesday in response to questions on how to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
“What I suggested is the honest truth, and the truth is there are not enough soldiers, there are not enough policemen to handle this, and this is the truth. it’s not a shame it is not the first time in the world, that regular outfits are brought in to help the military.
“In the UK, during world war II, from 1940 to 1944, they formed what they call Home Guard. What they did was that they were composed of people that were young, and their purpose was to protect their Homeland against Nazi invasion.
“They trained them, armed them to protect their communities. And this is what I’m recommending, and this is what the government has to do before we get to anarchy where people would be carrying their own arms. The government can do it in a very controlled way. Communities and the military would train our youths, arm them, supervise them as forest guards,” said Yusuf.
He said that his statement should not be misconstrued as calling for everyone to carry arms in the country but he is advising that the government should engage the community in battling insecurity in the country.
He said there is no nation that can boast of being safe if it does not have control over her airspace, highways, waterways and forest.
“We don’t have control of our forest, we don’t have control of our highways, we are not secure. And we would only be deluding ourselves if we think things would change if we continue this way,” Yusuf added.
When one of the anchors of the programme, Reuben Abati asked Yusuf to speak on calls for the government to bring in private military contractors and the formation of State police, he said the people don’t care what the government calls it, they just want to be protected.
“There just has to be a control and uniformity, but we need to have police protecting our people. Many of this rural areas have never seen anything no electricity, no water, no schools, no hospitals and now we cannot even give them peace to go to their farmland and bandits attacking them, or taxing their farm products,” Yusuf stated.
On how insecurity has spread in Northern Nigeria, Yusuf stated that in Katsina State, where the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is from, about a quarter of it is in control of bandits.
“The way security is being done in this country is that things come from Abuja, without involving the people, people must be involved. We are in big trouble in Nigeria insecurity in this country has been killing our people. Our women have been raped, and our villages burnt,” he added.
Earlier, the Professor of Haematology-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation published an article titled: “Insecurity is a symptom of corruption and bad governance,” where he held President Muhammadu Buhari responsible for the insecurity in the land.
“The primary responsibility of any government is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens, in this regard, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has miserably failed to live up to its solemn responsibilities. Our people are sick and tired of repeated excuses and conspiracy theories as reasons for this failure,” he wrote.