How Nigeria can tame insecurity, by Gbajabiamila, dons
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and some academics, including Dr. Obi Neji and Dr. Sunday Adejoh, have offered a path to the prevailing insecurity in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila, who was speaking yesterday at a national conference themed, “Information as a strategic tool for national development,” organised by the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values under his chairmanship in Abuja, observed that surmounting the current security challenges requires excision of ethno, religious and political differences in addition to building a national alliance against the forces that threaten the nation.
To achieve a result, he stressed that Nigeria must ensure that the citizens understand the nature of the problems and keep them abreast of the gains and losses, as well as the sacrifices made by patriots.
The Speaker noted that technology and new media had democratised public debate to benefit citizens and nations, adding that they have also created a platform for bad actors to spread misinformation and manipulate people in ways that endanger society.
He cautioned that the ongoing deliberations on the electoral law must be guided by factual and verifiable information.
Convener and chairman of the committee, Olusegun Odebunmi, said the event was to deepen national development.
IN their remarks, Dr. Neji of the Department of Political Science, the University of Calabar and Dr. Adejoh of the Department of Defence and Security Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna observed that the selective profiling of groups and agitators as enemies of the Nigerian State was not helping the Federal Government’s quest to restore normalcy in every part of the federation.
Addressing at a policy roundtable hosted by the Centre for Peace and Development, Veritas University, Bwari, Abuja, Neji queried: “Why does it seem to be an attempt by some clerics against labelling bandits as terrorists? Why are the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oduduwa agitators labelled terrorists and proscribed? Why are the marauding herders, who are labelled the sixth deadliest terrorist group in the world, not labelled terrorists in Nigeria?”
Also speaking, Dr. Adejoh pointed out that regardless of the intense profiling, there seems not to be any tangible improvement in the security of the country.
He said: “The declaration of Boko Haram and IPOB as terrorist organisations have not in any way addressed the insecurity in Nigeria. The activities of Fulani herdsmen and bandits are worst trends in Nigeria’s security history.”
The don stressed that labelling has rather aggravated the insecurity in the land.
HOWEVER, the Nigerian government has insisted on recording several victories in the fight against insurgency and banditry. It added that the country remains stable.
The position was contained in Nigeria’s Country Report presented by Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu at the 2021 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament that began November 30 and ends December 18.