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Activists, scholars blame insecurity on past inactions

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The pervasive insecurity, poverty, and corruption in Nigeria have been blamed on the past inactions of the nation’s leaders.

The country’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the military President Ibrahim Babangida administration in 1992 was specifically fingered as the precursor to the institutionalised poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in the land.

During the third Prof. Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture in Lagos, the speakers, including activists and scholars, urged Nigerians to stand up against bad governance as well as demand accountability and justice.

The list comprised Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun; veteran journalist and activist, Owei Lakemfa; former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Kehinde Bamigbetan, among others.

According to Lakemfa, who was guest lecturer, the SAP project “was not only economic exploitation but it also led to de-industrialisation and stunted development in the country.”

He highlighted three major lapses of the past that were responsible for the nation’s current problems.

His words: “The slave trade is one major calamity that hit our country. It took away our young and fit citizens to foreign lands. The second is colonialism, when we had people who don’t only want our resources but also our lands, thereby leaving us with nothing. There was also military misrule, a system where scavengers claimed they had answers to all questions.

They ravaged our land with impunity and destroyed the foundation of our development.”

He added: “Today we have a society where negligence and backwardness have become major issues, where the powerful can grind the powerless to the dust, where insecurity and corruption have taken over.”

These problems were not brought on us by outsiders, but by a prodigal elite and neo-colonial soldiers who saw us as bloody civilians.”

Fagbohun, however, challenged the youths to stand up for principles, excellence, and ideologies that could further the nation.


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