Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wamakko is a retired customs officer who is into real estate development; an educationist and also a security expert. He is a traditional title holder (Chiroma of Wamakko). He is currently the Chief Executive Officer, JEDO Mass Housing Estate with about 700 houses.
In this no-holds-barred interview with Neptune Prime’s Aisha Rabo and Ummulkhair Akibu, he spoke on various national issues. Excerpts:
N.P: Sir, as a northerner and a Nigerian, what do you think are the major problems facing the North and Nigeria and how do you think they can be addressed?
Alhaji Wamakko: The most important problem currently facing Nigeria is insecurity, the security of a country lies on the hands of the leaders. Our leaders must act and act fast, so that we don’t trail into more chaos.
There are so many ways the leaders could do this, but none of these ways has been followed. Let me give you a simple profile of how we achieve security in the country. We have hamlets, districts, and village heads, chiefs and obis.
These people are the custodian of our culture, these people know each and every family within the environment they lead. These people should be involved in the mapping out of strategies that deal with the security of the people in this country. In some places, we now pay money to obtain our national identity card.
We now apply for national ID cards for over 3 years without getting it. These things should be planned and arranged better. What we need is a census in each hamlet, village and district that traces your family line for proper documentation. This documentation will be done all over the country.
After finishing this documentation, they take the record they have of each hamlet or of the local government and send it to cloud. For example, In the FCT, if they do the documentation of all the people living in the Federal Capital Territory, making sure the data is authentic and includes family lineage, they then send it to cloud. This should be done all over Nigeria. This documentation includes capturing the image of the eye and taking the finger print of each and every person.
This enables us to easily identify an insurgent or criminal from the image of the eye on file or the finger print of the person. It is a very simple thing. When all these have been documented, each and every state will have a central data system. So that if at any point a person is captured and thumb printed by the police, all data pertaining to the person including their full names and where they come from will be immediately brought up.
This will give us a sense of direction on our economic and security issues. This reduces the rate of insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and other criminal activities in the country. It also enables us to trace who has come in and gone out of the country. If we do not have this, forget about the security of this country.
N.P: As a Fulani man, what do you think is the cause of the recent problems between the Fulani people and other Nigerians and how can we resolve it?
Alhaji Wamakko: This too is part of the security challenges we face in this country that the central data system can solve. About the Fulani, the government claims the police were created for the security of people’s lives and properties.
The Fulani are a nomadic people and are all over the country, there are Fulani who grew up in Enugu for example, they speak Igbo and some cannot even speak their own language. They are found in every state and have integrated into those states, but nothing has been done to secure their lives and properties.
Some people now thought to themselves, look at this wretched people moving up and down with cows worth over N150,000 per head and they most times have more than 50 cows in a herd. People came with guns and started killing them and taking over their cows. This created a problem as they (the Fulani) decided they needed to defend themselves as no one else will do it for them and so they took up arms, which is against the laws of the land. Since most of them are illiterates, and ignorant, they felt they had a right to defend themselves since they don’t want to keep losing their lives and properties. There is a need to create nomadic education for this people, this should be created in addition to a security system for those people.
The security system also enables us stay informed of the doings of the herdsmen. If their security is assured, I am sure they will be less issues from them. The government has left these herdsmen fallow, uncaring of their well-being, without a way of tracing them or helping them, what do they expect would happen? Especially as there is no census taken of them, they are not even considered to be part of us, to be citizens. Now that they have become a menace, people feel secure in throwing stones, at who? Who is truly responsible? What has the government being doing all these years, did they not know there were Fulani people in Nigeria? What did they do to help these people?
Our leaders are to be blamed for all that has happened! There is nothing set up to help and cater to the problems of ordinary Nigerians. All they know are the elites, the people at the top. Why then would we not descend to anarchy?
N.P: To round up, Sir what do you want to be remembered for?
Alhaji Wamakko: I am from Wamakko local government in Sokoto state, in my state, I have a lot of projects especially in the educational sector. I am running a school for the community children from Nursery to secondary school.
I also have skills acquisition institution in that same place. I have operated a computer institution in the same area for the last 20 years. I have a security company that has given over 500 people employment in Sokoto state. If you are counting people giving employment in Sokoto, I believe I will be the first apart from the government.
My interest is in how I touch the lives of my fellow human beings, and in which way do I add value to lives. I believe in giving not to be given back but for the sake of God. I want to be remembered for how I helped people by putting food on their tables.
N.P: Thanks for having us over sir.
Alhaji Wamakko: You are very welcome!