Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia is a retired brigadier-general of the Nigerian Army and a politician. He was the military governor of the defunct Midwestern Region between 1967–1975.
Ogbemudia joined politics and was elected governor of the old Bendel State in October 1983 on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, where he took over from the late Professor Ambrose Ali of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN. Bendel State gave birth to Edo and Delta States.
The elder-statesman, however, lost his position as governor in December same year when General Muhammadu Buhari seized power in a coup d’état that overthrew the government of Alhaji President Shehu Shagari.
When General Sani Abacha became head of state in November, 1993, the Edo leader was made the minister of labour and productivity. He has been out of the country in the last months where he was hospitalized in Wellington Hospital, London. He is still recuperating.
In this interview, Ogbemudia bares his mind on the security situation in the country, President Jonathan’s administration, his ministers, the minimum wage, his party, Edo State, among others.
What is your take on the current security situation in the country, especially the attacks by the Boko Haram sect?
I really don’t have much to talk about, but, when it comes to security, I must say that security is more of a serious problem and that is why every government has the responsibility to protect its citizens. What I had expected is that before the people, I mean those responsible for planting the bombs, strike, security agents ought to know in advance if they have enough resources to deal with the challenge. So, it is for government to give them enough resources to be able to identify the problem before it takes place.
But, having taken place, it is now for them to find out the origin because, without knowing how it came and who started it, it will not be easy for anybody to find a solution. We have many of our people killed at different venues of the bomb blasts and I think we have had enough. We should now go and find out the source and who is responsible, so that we either talk to him or deal with him in accordance with the bells of tradition.
Do you think government should dialogue with the Boko Haram people?
If government wants to stamp it out once and for all,…
Read Ogbemudia’s response to this question and the full interview in tomorrow’s edition of Sunday Vanguard.