The Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has cautioned the Federal Government against the use of force to resolve the various agitations in some parts of the country.
Rather, he said President Muhammadu Buhari should initiate a process of addressing those grievances in a well coordinated manner.
Okupe expressed this view in an open letter addressed to President Buhari, which he made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
The former Presidential aide said history had shown that when agitations were real and genuine, they would eventually be resolved; either positively or negatively.
He described the agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra, restructuring and resource control as products of genuine fears corroborated by clinically-evident actions and inactions of government that needed to be addressed.
While noting that the recent broadcast of the President upon his return from medical vacation did not help to calm frayed nerves and provide hope or the country, Okupe said if Buhari must leave an ending legacy for himself and his administration, he should increase and widen the scope of consultations nationally and be prepared to adopt and employ new approaches in this rapidly changing world.
On the fight against insurgency, Okupe advised the government to deploy additional 20,000 troops in the North-East within 90 days as well as leasing of fighter jets from friendly nations as a way of boosting the fighting power of the military.
This, he said, would ensure that the war did not prolong beyond the lifespan of the Buhari administration.
He added, “This administration has a maximum of 16 to18 months of rain-free period for active construction. Government must carefully select one or two major road projects that can be completed within the next 18 months in each geopolitical zone.
“In the South-West, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the star project and it can be completed within 18 months. In terms of funding, government may either borrow or revert urgently to the financial model of PPP that existed prior to your administration’s takeover. Similar projects in the three geopolitical zones in the North can also be identified and executed within this same period.”
While rejoicing with the President on his health recovery and resumption of office, Okupe said Buhari should use the rare opportunity offered him by God to show gratitude and turn the nation to the Creator through a deliberate declaration of days of thanksgiving in churches and mosques across the country.