…says it should also convince Nigerian leaders to accept restructuring
By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
NATIONAL Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien has said the British government must properly define the type of help it would offer Nigeria to stem the worrisome security situation in the country.
Ibokessien, who made the remark on Wednesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State while reacting to a statement by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing that the UK Government was prepared to help the country win the war against insecurity, said the help could not be a blanket offer.
He advised that as a sovereign country, that Nigeria must be very careful and make sure it doesn’t expose its internal security to external people.
His words, “They said they have been offering help in the Northeast already, and now they want to cover entire Nigeria, they have to define properly the type of help they want to offer in the security of the country, it cannot just be a blanket offer.
” They have to define and agree with Nigeria, and Nigeria has to review and see whether what they have to offer will really help. There is a need for the country to be careful about the kind of assistance it receives as far as security is concerned.
“So there is nothing wrong if they want to help, but Nigerians will also clearly defined what type of assistance they will accept from them. You don’t have to expose your house to an outsider. That is the issue”
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The PANDEF chairman also said the British government could help stem the insecurity in the country by convincing Nigerian leaders to accept restructuring.
“What is causing this insecurity in Nigeria is that many of the regions are agitating for true federalism. And if true federalism is practised in Nigeria you will find that most of the security challenges will be a thing of the past.
” They were our Colonial Masters and they were the ones who amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914. They can as well help to restructure Nigeria by convincing our leaders and the government to accept the restructuring of the country.
“Restructuring will bring down the insecurity in the country because everybody will be seriously protecting their region. Take Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) for instance, they are agitating for self-governance or some kind of independence, so under true federalism, they will be satisfied.
“The same thing for the South-South, South West, Middle Belt and also the North. So people will be satisfied and they will be able to stem our insecurity issues. So if they really want to assist, they should have proper discussions with our leaders, and support the restructuring of Nigeria.
“That is the long term solution to our security challenges so that any state that wants to be an Islamic state can remain an Islamic state, or if a state Christian state wants to be purely a Christian, it can, but all under one Federation. So that is one way they could help this country to stem the security challenges that we have currently”