By Jude Atuoulazi
Valentine Ozigbo, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) frontrunner in the race for the Anambra governorship, has offered practical steps that governments in Nigeria should take in addressing the security challenges in the county.
In a statement issued from his campaign office in Awka on Saturday, May 1, Ozigbo condemned the attacks on innocent Nigerians and called on the government to demonstrate responsibility by securing the life and property of every citizen.
Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, described the current security crisis as an existential threat and offered solutions towards restoring peace to the country.
‘We are facing an existential threat. The value of human lives is fast eroding to nothingness. A once peaceful state like Anambra has now become a theatre of violent crimes,’ he said.
Mr Ozigbo recommended immediate steps that government could take towards solving the security crisis.
‘I have been calling for state policing and more community involvement in securing our local communities by way of vigilante groups for some time now. These are globally accepted templates with evidence-based results,’ the respected business leader declared.
He argued that recruiting the police from within the community helped to engender confidence and strengthen crime-fighting and noted that It was time the country tried novel solutions to solve the crisis.
Touching on the various agitations for self-determination in several regions of Nigeria, Ozigbo said they were a direct result of leadership failure, injustice, and what he termed unimaginable corruption by the political class; even as he also cited a weak educational system and a crumbling economy as factors contributing to the security crisis.
In his words, ‘We cannot continue to pretend as if we got here by accident. The crisis we are currently facing is a direct result of leadership failure, injustice, and unimaginable corruption by our political class.
‘Nigeria needs a vibrant economy that will keep our youth employed. We need to educate all our children so that they will not become easy tools in the hands of warmongers, terrorists and those hell bent on destabilizing our country,’ Ozigbo continued.
He said that Nigeria’s economy and education system needed emergency action in the same way as her security apparatus did.
‘We need to provide world-class and universal education to all our children. We need to come up with rich impactful programmes that will engage our youth and empower them to channel their energies to production and value creation.
‘Our economy needs to be re-engineered to create opportunities for our youth. Emphasis must go to small and medium enterprises with a view of pulling millions out of abject poverty in the shortest possible time.
‘Government intervention in the economy must not be populist tokenism as we have seen in the past. Instead, we need robust action to kick start the economy to work again for everybody,’ he said.
Ozigbo called for unity in confronting the country’s security challenges, saying that matters of security and the lives of fellow Nigerians should not be politicized.
‘This is a matter that calls for all hands to be on deck for the sake of our country. Difficult times such as this call for statesmanship, not brinkmanship.
‘We must rise to the challenges of our time and unite behind a common vision for peace and progress. The lives of all Nigerian matter,’ he said.