…Harp on job creation, overhaul of security architecture
By Dirisu Yakubu
Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku has said the lack of job opportunities “made worse by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari,” is largely to blame for the rising wave of killings, kidnappings and sundry security challenges in the land.
The Wazirin Adamawa in an exclusive chat with Vanguard maintained that until the education of the vulnerable crop of Nigerians is prioritized; security of lives and properties would continue to pose a serious challenge to any government in power.
Speaking through his spokesman, Segun Sowunmi, Atiku painted a picture of what Nigeria would have been were he to be the man steering the wheel of governance today.
He said: “One of the critical issues we hoped he (Atiku) would have been given a chance to manage is the issue of insecurity. Aside from that it affects the North-East zone which is where comes from; it also has some unfortunate underpinnings of tribal cum religious colourations, not to talk about the broader related movement of persons and illegal arms.
“Atiku is very clear in his mind that a multifaceted approach will thaw the ice. We proposed economic emancipation of the country, we proposed complete overhaul of our security architecture, we proposed a multi-layer policing and intelligence framework, we proposed dialogue with the grouping and stakeholders, we proposed improved surveillance of our borders using technology, we proposed a motivated armed forces, and above all, we proposed a serious-minded take no-nonsense leadership attitude that sees a crime for what it is.
“Surely, more cannot be given because of the nature of security, but I can assure you that Atiku would handle the situation much better. Under-development and illiteracy are at the heart of these unending and mindless killings, which in our opinion has gone on for too long at great expense and embarrassment to our country.”
That said, Atiku in a veiled dig at the Presidency, for the umpteenth time spoke of the imperative of restructuring the Nigerian state to unleash its self-sustaining powers.
He continued: “Any leader who fails to see the need for some form of restructuring is not ready to give our country a good chance at sustainable development. You will recall that we talked about low-earth orbit satellites and so on. We also talked about a verified bio-metric identification system that places people in known addresses.
“For us, Atiku Abubakar’s leadership has evolved beyond wanting to have a title. We are at the stage where our efforts are to give Nigeria and her people a fillip to get exponential all-round peace, harmony and prosperity.”
Also speaking, former Minister of Education and acting national chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Professor Tunde Adeniran lamented the frequency of killings across the land and called for a change in the leadership of the security top hierarchy.
“There is need for policy review, renewed commitment and change of strategies. These can only come at this point in time through a change in the leadership and total overhaul of the armed forces of Nigeria,” he said.
Killings have assumed a new dimension in the past few months with kidnappers murdering their victims even after collecting ransom. Only recently, a young Catholic Seminarian was abducted in Kaduna alongside his three other colleagues. He was later found dead with his corpse deposited along the Kaduna/Abuja expressway; a development that elicited criticism of the President Buhari-led government by Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah.
There have been calls for the replacement of the current service chiefs with many Nigerians believing they have ran out of smart strategies to win the fight against insurgency but Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai appeared to dismiss same earlier in the week, insisting the military should be supported to weed the terrorists out of the country, root and branch.