South-East Crises Reducing Under Tinubu — Kalu 

The crises in the South-East region occasioned by various agitations have drastically reduced under President Bola Tinubu following his approach to peace through non-kinetic means.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated this on Monday in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, describing President Tinubu’s approach as a paradigm shift from the norms.

Kalu gave the testimony at the plenary session of the ongoing 2024 First Ordinary Session of the Sixth Legislature of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament in Abuja.

The Deputy Speaker who was recently inaugurated as a member of the parliament said that the military has reduced the operations of armed men in the region and have heeded the directive of President Tinubu in subscribing to the non-kinetics means rather than wielding the guns in settling the conflicts in the zone.

He narrated that this understanding has helped to restore tranquility in the region and enabled the zone to appeal to the authorities to release the agitators who are in prison by activating a political solution.

The Deputy Speaker also enjoined the sub-regional body to adopt the same measure in resolving similar issues, saying it is yielding positive results.

He said, “The usual tradition has been to send the military with their arms to crisis areas, to the battle of barrels of gun against barrels of gun. But there is a new wave now in my country where issues are being resolved without sending a military task force with guns. And it’s a non-kinetic approach. It’s happening in my region, the Southeastern region.

“Before his (President Tinubu) emergence, it was about Operation Crocodile, Operation Lion, Operation this and that. But through his initiative, he has been able to speak to the military, to look at sociological problems that remain the contributory factors for the crisis, and begin to look at ways of interpreting them and finding ways to bring the people to the table for resolution purposes. It’s a good template that Africa should actually absorb. ECOWAS should also look into.

 

“And it’s working in my region, the nerves that were frayed before now, those who were agitating, the radicalised ones are beginning to see opportunities to look at non-kinetic approaches towards resolving the conflict in the area.

 

“Remember I mentioned that my zone is the zone that suffered from the civil war. So the pain is still there, but the approach Mr President is using now is calming the tension there and it’s commendable.

 

“And we also hopeful that the region, through this non-kinetic approach, also is reaching out to the administration to release some of the people who are in prison for the agitation for separation through non litigious ways. And it is working. My region is getting calmer than it used to be. So, it’s something that we must report,” the deputy speaker said.

 

Speaking with reporters shortly afterwards, Kalu said the President is supporting the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) in its bid to provide the needed peace and infrastructural for the people in the region.

 

“It’s important to note that this current administration is actually unique in the sense that, they have a new paradigm shift from how crises have been managed over the years.

 

“And I raised it before the ECOWAS parliament that the president supported the initiative I birthed, which is Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) by sending the vice president to represent him at the official unveiling of the project.

 

“The deputy senate president was there and all the traditional rulers in all four corners of the country were there to support crisis, conflict resolution through non-kinetic means.

 

“You are aware that over the years what we have had in Nigeria has been Operation Lion, Operation Crocodile, Operation that where military men are sent to crisis areas with a lot of guns. And he is saying, no, this is a new dimension. There is a new dimension to conflict resolution.

 

“One of them is to find out the causative factors that birthed the conflict and find a way to resolve them using the table, not the gun. So the president is preaching the use the table, not the guns.

 

“And I heard the Chief of Army Staff visiting the various battalions and barracks across the country and preaching to them on the non-kinetic approach. So, less of gun, more of talk.

 

“I come from Southeast and it is working in Southeast. They are beginning to bring people together and say, what is the problem? How can we solve it?

 

“The president is supporting me so much in my peace project of reconciling my people fully without the sounds of gun. The barrels of gun. And that is a new thing in Nigeria.

 

“So, we are going to save money from the guns and the bullets that we buy and they are going to invest that money in taking care of the yearnings of those people who are agitated.

 

“Is it road? Let’s put it in road instead of bullets. If it is hospital, let’s put it in hospital instead of bullets. If it is farm implement, let’s do that. What is it that is making you agitated? And that is what governance supposed to be. Inclusive governance is what is running. Look at the amount of women he has brought on board and he is seeking to increase the number of women in the parliament as well.

“Look at his cabinet and see how many youths, the demography that has the highest number in our population. This is what we call inclusive government. And we are believing that at the end of his tenure, he is going to leave a mark that everybody will be proud of”, Kalu said.

He also congratulated President Tinubu on his reelection as the Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments.

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