Dayo Johnson – Akure
Chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu has warned that the 2023 general elections might be threatened if the insecurity situation in the country worsens.
Akeredolu spoke on Channels Television Politics Today interview programme on Tuesday.
He, therefore, asked the Federal Government to urgently tackle the deteriorating insecurity in the country.
The Ondo State governor who condemned the attack on the Benue State governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, wondered why governors would be the target of attack.
Akeredolu, who described Ortoms attack as unfortunate, backed his colleague governor’s submission that elections might be disrupted in 2023 if nothing is done to nip insecurity in the bud.
According to him “Nigerians should be worried if banditry activities reach its full-scale.
“I think Governor Ortom is right, definitely we cannot conduct election under an insecure environment.
“So if insecurity is not nipped in the bud, it will escalate and if it escalates, all of us should be worried that as at the time we are getting to 2023, we might have a full-scale banditry and other insecurity in the country,”
“With that, there is nobody that can carry out any election under that atmosphere. What is clear is that he has made a good point that the Federal Government must sit up.
“Something just has to be done now to ensure that this issue of insecurity that is escalating by the day is now nipped in the bud and deescalated as soon as possible.”
“We cannot continue to scratch the issue of insecurity on the surface. Security Chiefs must come together and provide solution to the problem. There must be swift responses to cases of insecurity at all levels.
While renewing his call for the creation of state police, Akeredolu said the setting up of the policy structure at regional levels would complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police .
“There must be a swift response to all this level of insecurity. For now, since there is nothing else to do, those of us who believe that there should be multi-level policing and the time has come for us to have state police, it is not something you can force down.
“It is something that will have to go through the National Assembly. It takes some time but that is the goal. But before then, I believe that we can have meetings, set up committees on insecurity. Let it be addressed wholesomely without any bias.”
On restructuring, Akeredolu said “restructuring is fundamental. The time to rise up on the issue of restructuring is now.
“That restructuring has not come doesn’t mean we must opt for secession. We will stay as one Nigeria and address our issues together.
He pointed out that ” leaving a nation, there must be consensus. We have never ceded power to anyone to speak on our behalf. In Ondo State, nobody has ever invited us to such a discussion.