By Sam Eyoboka
FORMER Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, erstwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Major General Ike Nwachukwu, and the presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, were unanimous, yesterday, that absence of good governance, equitable and just distribution of national income and the rule of law were factors responsible for the growing insecurity in parts of the country.
Speaking at the 14th annual Mike Okonkwo Lecture at the Muson Centre, Lagos, the threesome argued that the worsening security situation including terrorism, kidnapping, robbery and other social upheavals may drag for a while longer for as long as there is inadequate dispensation of justice and stifling economic productivity.
Nwachukwu said, “we have become a leadership group unable to stand by our convictions and shy to tell the truth! I believe that leaders have the responsibility to determine the objective but how to achieve it and the path leading to it should be combined efforts of the followers, especially those appointed into positions of trust and responsibility.”
Dr. Kalu who delivered a lecture entitled, ‘Overcoming the Nigerian Security Challenges: A panacea for national growth and development,” also fingered faulty political process, bloated personnel structure, intractable corruption and avoidable bureaucratization as other factors heightening the security challenges.
He said, “security is not necessarily about keeping a large army or police force. We have to nip in the bud situations that could degenerate to strife and violence. In a situation where the shrinking job market is filled by nepotism and man-knows-man syndrome; there would always be violent reactions. When people cannot actualize their economic goals within reasonable means, the temptation to resort to violence becomes inevitable”.
The celebrant, Bishop Okonkwo in his speech advocated a political administration that would respect its agreements with unions, saying that a nation where its federal lawmakers earn much more than the most powerful president in the world, President Barack Obama should honour its obligation to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
He said the place of education cannot be overemphasized in a nation that is desirous of growth and genuine development, noting that the political class delights in making the populace uneducated so as to perpetually keep them under subjugation. Okonkwo appealed to the Nigerian people to rise above mediocrity and ensure that any leader that is not performing is shown the way out through their ballot.