February 3, 2023

Celebrating Excellence & Integrity


Ohuabunwa: convoke consultative assembly on security now

With pervasive insecurity crises still troubling the country, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, industrialist and convener of the New Nigeria Group (NNG), has called on all political leaders and other ‘good people’ in Nigeria to jettison their differences and come together to discuss how to return the country to the path of sustainable peace.

To achieve this, the industrialist, who is the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), said there is an urgent need to convoke a national consultative assembly where Nigerians of all ethnic nationalities can ventilate their grievances and proffer solutions to the myriads of issues that breed insecurity.

Ohuabunwa, who said he was worried that the situation in the country was heading towards anarchy, reiterated that Nigeria’s problems are redeemable if all patriots and political leaders in various tiers and levels of government decide to take a break and think about the way forward for the country.

The pervasive climate of fear and uncertainty is hurting the economy, requiring urgent and pragmatic solutions from all stakeholders in the country before things get out of hand, he warned.

“These worsening security crises call for the attention of all good people in the country. We cannot continue to watch helplessly or pour more fuel into the fire as our nation gets ripped apart. Our country has never been this divided since the Nigerian civil war.

“Our ordinarily fragile economy is suffering seriously as a result of the fear in the land and the uncertainty that reigns. We cannot grow the economy, create more jobs and wealth without investment, especially foreign.

“And as the President remarked recently, no normal foreign investor can bring his money into a country that cannot guarantee the safety of lives and property.

“Furthermore, the President, in a demonstration of admirable candour, admitted recently that the best effort of government on security has proven not to be good enough.”

“I do not think that this call for full militarization of our country will solve the problem in a sustainable manner. We are getting overwhelmed by the rise of non-state militant actors and we need to stop trying to treat the festering symptoms only, but to deal with the root cause,” Ohuabunwa said.

As far as he is concerned, the root causes of the worsening insecurity can be traced directly to injustice, inequity, unfairness, unemployment and endemic poverty plaguing the country – both real and perceived.

While admitting that it may take some time to fully deal with unemployment and poverty crises through implementing a new and aggressive economic order, he said issues bordering on injustice, inequity and unfairness in the polity can be addressed immediately by enthroning a more inclusive approach to governance, especially in the way security sector leadership is constituted. This will quickly bring calm to the situation, he stressed.

“My call is to request our political leaders to immediately convoke a national consultative assembly of all ethnic nationalities and fathers of the nation to discuss how to calm the nation, starting with addressing all issues of injustice – real or perceived. More police and more army only will not calm the situation.

“See how police and army barracks, including their personnel, are being attacked all over Nigeria, even when we have new military chiefs and new IGP. See how our government officials at state and federal are being largely distracted by the bludgeoning insecurity problems across the nation.

“For many years, calls for state and community policing were ignored. Now, we are arming all kinds of militia. Let us listen to the citizens and quickly respond to their needs and worries. It will be cheaper than buying more arms to kill ourselves.

“Money that should be used to build sorely needed economic infrastructure is being wasted on buying arms and other military equipment to kill mostly fellow Nigerians. May God grant our leaders the humility and wisdom to take actions that will de-escalate these worsening security crises in our.”

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