A retired Principal Staff Officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) and former Senior Security detail to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Adetayo Oluwaseyi has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately commence the process of restructuring the country and embark on massive recruitment into the Nigerian military as parts of measures to reduce the areas of discontentment which he, alongside others said are contributory factors to the current security bedlam in Nigeria.
Also, Lagos based legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Dr. Chima Nnaji adduced that the propensity to dominate the citizenry by leaders who deploys religion, ethnic sentiments and the notion that a certain groups of people are born to rule the country must be downplayed to eliminate provocations generated across the country.
The duo, alongside others spoke at a forum in Lagos at the weekend where experts gathered to proffer solutions to the myriad of what many described as unacceptable the recurring wanton destruction of lives and properties across the country.
The forum, tagged ‘ A day with the Parish Priest’ was put together by the Catholic Men Organisation of Nigeria (CMO) of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja with the theme: “insecurity in Nigeria: implication for ethnic and religious harmony”.
Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, represented by Rev. Fr. Wilfred Nwachukwu, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins described the annual forum as one where thought provoking solutions are generated and affirmed that with God, the mammoth challenges in Nigeria would soon be history.
The CMO Chairman, St. Leo’s chapter, Maurice Offiong said the security problems in the country calls for urgent attention and drastic actions from all as it is the masses, who cut across all ethnic and religious divides that bears a lion’s share of the brunt of the problem.
Also speaking, a former presidential candidate and Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Dr. Yunusa Tanko said the turnaround for the country must include a demand for apologies from political leaders who for years speaks to the citizens’ ethnic, religious and political inclinations in order to remain in power.
Dr. Tanko said that electorates should henceforth choose leaders who are thinkers and in turn with the global realities affirming that majority of the current leaders are bereft of how to govern a country in the 21st century.
In her intervention, Chairperson of the occasion and public relation expert, Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun who made a case for the involvement of women in peace making processes said “ethnicity in Nigeria overrides class politics and national interest. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups with a complex coloration and admixture. One of those colorations is religion. Religious affiliation is linked to Nigeria’s notable ethnic diversity.”
The former President Obasanjo’s security aide, Mr. Adetayo explained that the Boko Haram insurgent was the result of the inaction of governments in the past to pay attention to a growing number of extremists who participated in wars and undergo trainings in Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan and Algeria before returning back home and acquired followers thereafter.
Adetayo, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of EONS Intelligence, said the terrorist has legitimate demands,
“In my interactions with commanders of Boko Haram and leaders of bandits over the years, a recurring agitation noticed among them is their exclusion by political leaders who rode on their back to power. Our leaders play the ethnic and religious cards to perpetuate their grip on power and then abandon them once they get into office. Ideologies are part of problem fanning the crisis in the country. We have made several mistake and we kept quiet.”
He added that “we don’t have the military to fight the myriad of security demands in the country, government need to reduce the areas of discontentment. The president must start the restructuring of Nigeria in order to dose the tension and agitation in the different parts of the country. We need to start massive recruitment into the military for emergency military service as a way of creating employment for jobless youths.”
According to him, “the attacks happening in the South East is caused by political titans who are pursuing their personal interests. We do not need to buy Tucano jets to fight the citizens; all we need is action to address issues confronting us”
Dr Nnaji submitted that the citizens need liberations of the mind and urge Nigerians to shun politicians who deploy extreme ideology for political patronage adding that ethnicity is a raw material for perpetrators of such evils.
For Nkechi Balogun: “where a nation ignores its women in the decision making processes, there will be problems, women can help deprogramme the minds of the terrorists, the bandits and kidnappers as mothers. We must go back to the drawing table to include women. We also need to include our youths. We need a revolution in our court processes, and all. We must change to a new narrative.”
Participants affirmed that the citizens must take a part of the blames of the current malaises and arise and demand good governance from the leaders without delay.