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TMC raises concern over six burning issues in the country

By Shakirah Adunola
20 January 2023   |   3:00 am
The Muslim Congress (TMC) has called on the Federal Government and stakeholders to urgently address six prevailing issues raging across the country before they degenerated. The group’s raised concerns over the Igueben train station attack, 2023 National Census, the attack on election facilities, proactive measures against the resurgence of COVID-19, the legacy of Buhari-led government…

The Muslim Congress (TMC) has called on the Federal Government and stakeholders to urgently address six prevailing issues raging across the country before they degenerated.

The group’s raised concerns over the Igueben train station attack, 2023 National Census, the attack on election facilities, proactive measures against the resurgence of COVID-19, the legacy of Buhari-led government and the lingering fuel scarcity.

The Amir of TMC and the Chairman, Committee on Social Mobility, Economy and Politics, Alhaji Abdul Wasi’i Taiwo Bangbala, while addressing pressmen at the quarterly State of the Nation held in Lagos, said the spiraling security breaches across the country are a cause for worry.

“The recent Igueben train station attack in Edo State is a tragic reminder of the Kaduna train attack during which 8 passengers lost their lives while 62 others were held captive back in March 2022. It is disturbing that barely a month after operations resumed on the Abuja-Kaduna corridor; we witnessed another dastardly attack, this time in the Edo axis. That such a facility was bare of adequate security suggests that the authorities and the stakeholders did not learn any lesson from the Kaduna incident of a few months ago. Now, more than ever is the time for the authorities to deploy all-inclusive and sustainable security systems at all train stations and other sensitive public infrastructures across the country. The avalanche of security challenges, the wave of wanton and extra-judicial killings that ravaged the country in 2022 may have continued, seemingly unabated, in the new year with this latest terror attack.”

He acknowledged the recent military onslaught against insurgency and banditry in the north. “Without doubt, the activities of Boko Haram and bandits have been greatly subdued lately and we believe that final victory against acts of terror in the country is within sight,” the Amir said.

The group urged he National Population Commission to ensure that the 2023 census does not repeat the mistakes of the past, adding that the commission should leave no stone unturned in delivering a hitch-free census. “Being the first digital census in Nigeria, the commission needs to effectively collaborate with religious and traditional institutions to drive public awareness and enlightenment for Nigerians to embrace and place premium importance on the exercise,” The TMC said.

TMC urged the government to ensure that measures are put in place to prevent disruptions of the forthcoming electoral activities. “The authorities must know that only when the security agencies fish out and prosecute the masterminds of the numerous attacks on the facilities of the electoral commission can there be a semblance of peaceful and credible elections.

“We, therefore, call on the relevant authorities to consider deploying a combination of intelligence, special operations and law enforcement techniques to nip the growing menace in the bud.”

The group advised the government to put in place measures that earned its worldwide acclaim for the swift response at the height of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

“Preventative measures must be emplaced to keep the contagion at bay. The Federal Government may have to consider reintroducing appropriate safety measures to forestall another outbreak of the deadly virus in the country. Security and health officials at airports, seaports and also land borders must be placed on high alert.”

TMC commended the Federal Government for completing some of the pre-existing projects and starting new ones. “Two of the marquee road projects which are important highlights of achievements of the administration are near-completion, that is the Second Niger Bridge and the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. For decades, the Second Niger Bridge has been a challenge, especially for the people of the Southeast, however despite setbacks, the administration has delivered on its promise with the near completion of the 1.6km bridge.

“Apart from easing of traffic flow on the overused First Niger Bridge, the new bridge will foster economic activities between the Southeast and the rest of the country by the time it is fully completed. Another of the high-impact projects undertaken by the administration is the ongoing rehabilitation, construction and expansion of the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway among other laudable efforts of the outgoing government, and, thus deserves some plaudits despite its many struggles.”

The group urged government to end the lingering fuel crisis, which placed a strain on the citizens and businesses.

“Government needs to cobble together inter-agency efforts for an efficient and coordinated approach to ending the protracted scarcity. The NNPC must seek to work with marketers and other relevant stakeholders to continuously improve operational efficiency to remove the recurrent bottleneck, including the perennial distribution challenges. The government needs to stop treating the crisis with levity. The situation must not be allowed to persist in the interest of the citizens already flustered by economic hardship.”

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