By Dayo Johnson

FORMER secretary to the Government of the Federation and presidential candidate, Olu Falae, has decried worsening insecurity across the country, and expressed concern that the outcome of the 2023 election may not be acceptable and credible.

Falae, who spoke with newsmen in Akure, said the escalating waves of insecurity across the country might affect the conduct and result of the elections, stressing that the outcome may not be credible.

“I pray that terrorists will allow the election to take place. Some few days ago they burnt down the INEC office somewhere in the South-East. They have been doing that for a long time, so we hope the election will even be possible.

“If elections take place at all, I hope the outcome will be acceptable and credible because if, during voting, shootings take place, the outcome may not be credible.

“So, all in all, I am hoping that we will be able to have elections that will be credible, and I am praying that the Lord Almighty will intervene and pick a government that can lead Nigeria out of the crisis in which we are. Nigeria is tottering precariously on the edge of the precipice.”

Need for state police

Speaking on the need for state police, Falae said: “In my view, security is a local matter, and what I mean by that is that every community should mobilise its own people for its own security.

“Every village, every hamlet should mobilise its own people to defend itself. The police will do their work, the DSS will also do what they can do, but every community must have its own security.

“In my community, I am the community head and we have our own Vigilante and they have the instruction to comb all the surrounding forests, if they see any strange person they should arrest him and bring him to police station.

“Every community should do that so that when every village is secured, Nigeria is secured. Let the police do what they can do but the individual community, family and town should arrange its security”

“Security does not necessarily mean shooting, critical part of security is prevention, information, monitoring and intelligence. Before terrorists can strike in a community they must have been mobilized and hanging around for some time.

“So, your people must be vigilant and continuously monitor the environment, and if they noticed anything strange they go after it and of course if they attack, I have the right to self-defence because self-preservation is the first order of creation but the most part is surveillance, intelligence, monitoring the environment, and keeping strange elements out of the area. That is the core of intelligence.”

Factors for choosing next president

Falae said that the major factor Nigerians should consider in choosing their next president is competence; it should not be based on ethnic or religion agenda.

According to him, ethnic divisions persist in Nigeria not because the cultures and customs of the people are predisposed to ethnic strife but as a result of a weak state that is not capable of capitalizing on policies that will enhance Nigeria’s national identity.

His words: “This is inevitable when you have a government that does not present itself as the government of the people.  If a government presents itself to be a champion of a section of the people, naturally the other elements in the country will defend themselves and will have to take care of themselves.

“My view might sound simplistic that Nigeria is not a difficult country to govern because I have spent time in government. If we have a government or President who shows genuinely that he is for all Nigerians and that he cares for all Nigerians, they will worship him.

“Murtala Muhammed came in as military head of state and in six months we venerated him. He showed that he was not for the Hausa, Yoruba or Fulani but for Nigerians. That’s what we need, somebody that will know that Nigeria is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and a very complex country. So you cannot afford to be sectional. That is recipe for chaos.

 “We need a government that knows and acts in perception that Nigeria belongs to all of us and that if he doesn’t please all Nigerians, he’s destroying the country.

“That’s what Nigerians want, a fair-minded leader and it doesn’t matter where he comes from. After all whoever becomes the President must come from a particular family, tribe or town. What he needs to do is to know that there are other Nigerians who have equal claim to Nigeria patrimony and if he acts accordingly, Nigerians will hail him.

“It’s not a difficult thing to do but unfortunately most of the people who call themselves politicians are die-hard tribalists, who are not exposed.”

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