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On a peaceful and stable Nigerian state – Part 2

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Nigerian military escort are seen leading busses where children kidnapped by Boko Haram from the Government Science Secondary school, in Kankara, in northwestern Katsina State, Nigeria are traveling back home after having been freed on December 18, 2020. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

Continued from yesterday

While the schools in Nigeria are obviously sub-standard in facilities, with a negative expression of what constitute success dominating our mental psyche, the students themselves have imbibed a negative philosophy which celebrates fraudulence in examinations. To that effect, from the primary school to the university, a Nigerian child do not need to read to pass examinations. All he needs is to exploit the processes of cheating at examinations and earn distinction. This infraction has compromised the present and the future of our country and its various generations. With an uncultured and intellectually bankrupt youth population and the inability of government to expand the industrial, technological and primary base of agricultural production, advance fee fraud, enrichment through ritualistic indulgence has become the indulgence of most of our youths.

This development undermines the future of our country and its hope of economic recovery. We aver that the primary integral for economic development is the human capital. Thus, when the human capital of a country is as de-developed as the Nigerian reality reflects, that country is obviously trading on inevitable destruction.

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In our submission, we aver that the tirades of inter-ethnic disharmony, a weak military capacity and the collapse of the institutions for moral delivery in Nigeria, are predicates of an economy mismanaged by an inept and vision-less ruling elite.

We argue that this trend cannot continue and must stop now. We believe in the vast potentials with which Nigeria is endowed in human and natural resources. We cannot continue to be counted from behind with the resources in our hands. The blame game must stop and the focus of leadership in Nigeria must change.

We aver that harnessing the potentials of our country optimally, resolving the anathema of primitive accumulation that engenders alienation, reordering the political structure by which we engage, and optimising the funding of the educational sector as well as generating a deterrence approach to anti-corruption, the innards of a functionally active and efficient Nigerian State will be realised. It is within this construct that we situate the solution to our security challenge.

To that effect, we have undertaken this trek to advise government to do the right thing in terms of ensuring governance delivery, refrain from intimidating the people and shutting down the court of free speech and protest, and enthrone security for the Nigerian state and its people.

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We state unequivocally that those who make peaceful protest impossible make violent protest inevitable. As Nigerians, we are sensitive to the overheating of the polity and the history of Chechnya and Liberia. We are guided by the experiences of the people of Sierra Leone, Syria, Libya among others. We see Nigeria in a drift towards times no less hostile and destructive. It is consequent for us as a people to draw the attention of government to our feelings, our fears and the possibilities conveyed in our expectations.

We note that irrespective of the intervening programmes of this government focused at the economic recovery of the country, we aver that the realities of our environment reports continuing economic depression, regression of moral and spiritual values, weakening institutions and appalling spate of underdevelopment. The social impact of this overwhelming collapse is the breakdown of the command structure of governance, weakening of public institutions, and the manifestation of various hostile reactions that are identified as bandits, herdsmen, Boko Haram and Islamic State.

Drawing from the faith we have on the endowment of our country we have come here to insist on good governance that will take Nigeria out of the dungeon of inevitable destruction to the path of sure and certain development. We urge as stated below:

1.We argue that the present state of insecurity is no longer acceptable to the Nigerian people. We cannot continue with the pains and agonies of having our children kidnapped in school and killed in very painful and traumatic manners.

2. Knowing that our leaders send their own children abroad to avoid same experiences impact more psychological pains on the mental psyche of our people. We demand that every public office holder must be banned from sending his/her children to school abroad.

3. While we acknowledge the military laws on mutiny and the enthronement of discipline that it conveys, we argue that the report of our military personnel on poor military infrastructure must be taken seriously, investigated and addressed.

4. We call for the creation of green zones in Northern Nigeria and the establishment of ranches in that region to forestall the consequences of unregulated ranching system called open grazing.

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5. We argue that a ban on open grazing must be followed up with providing ranching opportunities for the herdsmen. This is critical to sustaining the Nigerian agricultural production chain.

6. We demand a political system implicitly endowed to deliver good governance.

7. We call for the reduction in the size of government as well as fundamentally address the salary scale of political office holders at all tiers of government in Nigeria. The salary of Political office holders must draw from the Civil Service Salary Scale.

8. We call for a proactive anti-corruption policy that delivers deterrence,

9. We call for the retraining of the Nigerian Police as well as the Armed Forces.

10. We call for the provision of security in all schools in Nigeria in a dimension that assures  Nigerians of the safety of their children while at school.

11. We call for the provision of the appropriate machinery that delivers security both internally and externally. This includes providing the necessary facilities for aerial surveillance and the requisite military hardware for combat situations.

12. We call for the legalisation of community police placed under the control and command of the community with appropriate financial provision from the Federal Government for the maintenance of personnel in training, remunerations and equipment.

13. We call for a fundamental deterrence policy on examination malpractices.

14. We call for a review of the minimum wage as a critical basis for an effective anti-corruption policy framework

15. We call for a review of the judicial system to deliver very speedy capacity in addressing cases in every aspect of judicial necessity

16. We call for improved public delivery in the provision of qualitative basic social services in education, health and housing, as user-cost-free public services.

17. We demand the upgrading of our medical facilities at all levels to check capital flight arising from treatments abroad.

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18. We demand a reduction in the size of the National Assembly and insist on the remuneration of members based on sitting allowances only.

19. We call for the review of all state infrastructures that have been sold, particularly in the power sector. We demand that these infrastructures should be placed in the hands of the workers of these institutions.

We have come here to speak to the conscience of the leadership of our country and trust that these points we have listed here will not be taken for granted. We have not come here to make a speech. We have come here to urge the leadership of this country to save the country and save itself from the essential dynamics of history that delivers judgement in a dimension that even the leadership cannot escape from

God bless Nigeria.

Concluded.

Conferenceof Non-Governmental Organisations of Nigeria, Moses Oisakede Leadership Foundation Alliance on Surviving COVID 19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Marxist Socialist Alternative, Protest to Power, Women’s Voice and Action League, Praxis Centre, Democratic Socialist Movement, Environmental Sustainability Initiative, Social Rights and Leadership Forum, Workers Welfare Initiative, Reformers’ Academy, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights.

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