By Ochuko Akuopha
UGHELLI – FORMER General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Chief Frank Kokori, has said that the Presidency, National Assembly and governors had let Nigerians down in tackling the worsening spate of insecurity bedeviling the country.
Kokori, who spoke on telephone, yesterday, wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari “will not want to talk to anyone about holding a national discourse” saying that it was time to change the country’s constitution once and for all.
Describing insecurity in the country as a national emergency, he urged the federal government to sit up and “be serious”.
He said; “The president is the commander-in-chief and he should act. If he does not act, then the national assembly will put him on the spot. We elected him to protect us, he should protect the country. The country is going down the drain, people can’t travel, people can’t do anything.”
“Before, I was an opponent of restructuring, but today I am a supporter of restructuring. Before, I did’t want to hear anything about state police because I felt the governors will abuse it the way they are abusing the state electoral commissions.
“Every state should have a solid well equipped vigilante or what you call state civil defence or state vigilante. Fulani herdsmen don’t have license before they have their arms. They (state police) should have licence and get their guns.
“There is nowhere in the world or any point in history where you don’t protect yourself . When there is war, you protect yourself, you don’t use bare hands to protect yourself. Those Fulani herdsmen roaming around with AK47, who gave them license?
“The federal government should sit up, they should be serious. All herdsmen from all over West Africa coming to Nigeria armed to the teeth, and you cant arrest them, you can’t jail them, you cant do anything.
“You even demoralize the police, because if the police arrest some of them, they say they should release them. That is the story I am hearing. Herdmen are killing and kidnapping people. There is a way government can storm kidnappers.
“When kidnappers kidnap people, a solid government will storm them, there will be collateral damage yes. Everyday, you go and be paying ransom to kidnappers. When you pay ransom to them, then that’s all.
“What is the military trained for? Military should have parachuters, that is what happens all over the world. They come with parachutters and storm the place. There will be collateral damage. You do that two, three times, the people will run away and nobody will be a kidnapper in this country agian.
“Now you are negotiating with them and they are collecting billions from people and you say you are running a government. The governors themselves should be ashamed of themselves.
“When I look at this country, we just fought for this country for nothing. We have been talking of democracy, democracy came, they wasted it and destroyed the whole system. The governors, National Assembly and the Presidency should be ashamed of themselves. They let down the country.”