By Jude Atupulazi
The level of insecurity in Nigeria is unacceptable and requires all hands to be on deck in the search for workable solutions. This is according to the Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 elections, Mr Peter Obi.
He said, ‘There is insecurity everywhere in Nigeria and not only in the South-East,’ Obi observed during a chat with newsmen over the last weekend at the burial of Chief Paulinus Anyika at Akokwa, Imo State.
According to him, the insecurity was the cumulative effect of poor governance and also the result of bad and offensive examples by the leaders.
‘I watch leaders, past and present, attend the convocation of their children in foreign universities while completely neglecting education in the country. Those at the receiving end are bound to react in sync with what I have always said that the society we abuse today will take its revenge tomorrow,’ Obi said.
Asked if he would consider running for the presidency in 2023, the former Anambra State Governor said: ‘This is not the time to be talking about politics or the 2023 elections. The country is in big crisis and what should be of interest to everyone is what to do about the high level of insecurity in the country, the problem of youth unemployment, and families not being able to take care of their needs. These are things that should concern us and not 2023.’
Obi identified economic crisis as the main cause of the worsening security and other problems in the country, saying that a lasting solution also had to be economic.
‘Nigeria,’ he said, ‘has an economic problem. If you want to solve this problem of worsening insecurity we have in the country, you have to focus on the economy. If I have a job; if I have to go to work and come back, I won’t have time to think of crime.’
Obi, who noted that this had worked elsewhere, said it was what was being done in South American countries like Argentina and Brazil, as well as in many Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, among others.
‘Even African countries like Ghana demonstrably has a focus,’ Obi added.
In Brazil, Obi said they used to have gangs but were pulling them down by building factories; pointing out that it was what Nigerian leaders should do.
‘They also have to realize that there is no alternative to education and invest heavily in it, as well as in the health sector. If you’re not pulling people out of poverty, you’re bound to have a high rate of insecurity,’ Obi warned.
Obi, who admitted that part of the problem was political, also appealed to all aggrieved parties, including the government, to give peace a chance, pointing out that nothing could be achieved in an atmosphere of chaos.