Former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, on Monday, January 22, warned that the recent waves of kidnappings and insecurity were pushing Nigerians to the limit arguing that any little push can lead to disintegration.
George, in a statement tasked the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to tackle the escalating insecurity saying Nigeria must be restructured.
Bode George noted that the present government had failed Nigerians.
The PDP chieftain said:
“In the wake of the alarming escalation of insecurity and the recent waves of kidnappings terrorising Nigerians, it has become imperative for us to address the critical questions Nigerians are asking.”
Bode George continued:
“The pertinent question Nigerians are asking today is: What exactly is going on in our country?
“Nigerians are looking to the government to instill security amidst the fear and atrocious crimes being committed in Nigeria, which is destroying the security and stability of our nation, making Nigeria very volatile and a threat to the personal safety of Nigerians.
“The sudden increase and high prevalence rate of innocent lives lost, suffered by Nigerian communities is not only tragic but has made it almost impossible to attract the much needed international economic investment that can only prevail in a politically stable environment.
“Nigerians are perpetually engulfed with fear and so they are asking what is happening to the government in power.
“Why are they refusing to put the national security of this nation front and centre of their political agenda? The government of the day has failed Nigerians once again.
“With the recent killing of more than 200 people in Plateau State during the Christmas season, in addition to the rampant abduction of citizens every day, Nigerians are now forced to look for tens of millions of naira in cash to pay off ransoms.
“I am also asking the same critical question: Whither Nigeria?
“The fundamental duty of government, anywhere in the world, is the protection of lives and properties of its citizens.
“It also must put adequate well-coordinated security plans that prioritise national security and ensure an atmosphere; peaceful and conducive for its citizens.
“Pitiably, this is not the case in our country today. On the roads, on the farms, in the market, even in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the seat of government, it seems terrorists and kidnappers have now taken the battle to the city of power.
“What is the government doing to eliminate this plague of insecurity in the land? How do we develop the economy and catapult economic growth when Nigerians and foreigners/investors have become endangered species in the hands of killers?
“The lack of urgency to promptly tackle banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and insecurity in the land gives me grave concern, anxiety and distress.
“This hydra-headed problem is not being tackled by the government. It has now become a crime for Nigerians to move from one place to the other. How long will Nigerians endure this?
“Kidnapping for ransom is already creating fear all over the country. Leaders in the country must not just bombard Nigerians with the semantics of ‘We are on top of the situation’.
“Those in authority must show leadership qualities, and as a popular saying goes; The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in Nigeria is that good citizens watch silently and do nothing.
“Elders in the country must stand up and advise the government appropriately on actions that will ensue peace and stability in the land.
“Since the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25, 2023 election, it is now time for real governance, and Nigerians are earnestly yearning for this.
“Nigeria is close to the precipice and any little push can lead to a total disintegration. That is why the Bola Tinubu administration should put on its armour and tackle this menace in society now.
“From Sokoto to Oyo, Rivers to Niger, Imo to Taraba; high rate of unemployment, chronic hunger and malnutrition are so prevalent in the land.
“According to a popular saying, an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. Since people must eat, they will resort to anything that will put food on their tables, even if it is undesirable and despicable.”
On the need for the FG to tackle the growing number of unemployed youths in the country, George said: “So, what is the government doing to engage this growing army of unemployed youths in the country?
“Naira is now about N1,300 to a dollar. A bag of rice is more than N60,000. The cost of living is just going up and the quality of life is going down.
“It appears the government is helpless and unprepared. Government must stretch out its hands to foster partnerships with all relevant stakeholders and agencies, to ensure immediate relief for those most vulnerable in our society.
“I said it before and I am going to repeat it for posterity. We must restructure this country and the time is now. If we are really practicing democracy the way it should be, Abuja should not breathe down the necks of all the 36 states.
“We must restructure immediately.
“The Federal Government must also devolve power to states to achieve more effective governance and management of each state’s resources. Governors are closer to the people. They know what their people need.
“Apart from monetary policy, customs, defence, foreign affairs and a few others, governors should handle the rest critical matters on the Exclusive List in the Constitution.
“For example, people in Alimosho, the most populous local government in Nigeria, cannot go to Abuja for their basic needs. The governor is there in Alausa, Ikeja to handle such things.
“Development should be bottom-up, not the other way round. That is why if California, a state in the United States (U.S.), were a sovereign nation, it would rank in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the world’s fifth largest economy behind Japan and ahead of India.
“In fact, the state of California has a larger GDP than that of all African countries.
“Its Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most valuable technology companies, such as Apple, Alphabet and Nvidia,” Bode George noted.