BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA- A report Tuesday revealed that, in absolute poverty, the North East, North West and North Central has retained the poorest geo-political zones in Nigeria since 1985.
The index highlight states like, the North East consisting of Borno, Bauchi, Taraba Adamawa, with the highest incidence of poverty ranging between 54.9% to 72.2% followed by North West which consist of Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa and the North Central consisting of Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Kwara.
Prof Mohammed Ladan, expert in security matters declared this in his paper at a public lecture on criminal justice system and the new security challenges in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja.
He said: “By the index of 50.6%, Nigeria is the 3rd among 20 countries in the world with a widest gap between the rich and the poor, poverty in Nigeria is undoubtedly the face of the north”.
January 2011 statistics, out of this 70% are the majority rural poor that fall between the ages of 25-60. 70% of this particular population is within this age bracket. In a country where you have this particularly age bracket, it is a time bomb.
He also blamed the government for lack of care on the youth, “this is the fault of bad governance which is one of the key issues, because if we fail to address social economic, political injustices, unemployment and issue relating to education you create a time bomb and you allow the youth to become hopeless, frustrated and their energies are driven towards something else.
Security in the country is a collective responsibility the truth must be told, that is the only solution, he added.
In his speech, The Director General of the institute for peace and conflict Resolution, Dr Joseph Golwa said criminal justice system must be able to punish criminals and terrorist who have perfected the art of using bombs to kill innocent people at will.
According to him, other issues such as the number of pre-trial detainees and the inordinate length of pre-trial detention, and time it takes to conclude criminal cases, the non-effectiveness of the penal system’s stated objective of rehabilitation and reform of the prisoner which new laws do we need to handle crimes in conflict/violence situations, and or which old laws should Nigeria review.
Our goal is to pursue and enthrone a culture of peace, tolerance and development in our national life, with the support and collaboration of UNDP.