Former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has advised the federal government to put more seriousness into combatting the various security challenges currently facing the country.
Chief Obasanjo gave the advice on Saturday in his keynote address at the 2019 Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), held in Oleh, Isoko South council area of Delta state.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Mobilising Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability,’, Chief Obasanjo said “lack of continuity and consistency in governance, corruption, in terms of stealing public funds, fraud, nepotism, favouritism, condonation of misconduct, cronyism, deliberate underperformance and bribery,” among others, are acts that hinder development.
Chief Obasanjo, who had highlighted the problem that both Boko Haram the banditry in the North-West region of the country had grown into, charged government to get all the proper assistance, both locally and globally, to combat the menaces, which he said were already internationalised.
“Our charity must begin at home. The government must appreciate where we are. Summon each group that should make contributions one by one and subsequently collectively seek the way forward for all hands on deck and with the holistic approach of stick and carrot. There should be no sacred cow.
“Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.
“After we have found an appropriate solution internally, we should move to bilateral, multilateral, regional, continental and global levels. With ISIS involvement, we cannot but go global. Without security and predictable stability, our development, growth, and progress are in peril. Let me hasten to add that we must be at the appropriate seat at the table of international discourse, deliberations, agenda, and action.
“That Nigeria from independence has always been in the forefront of any continental initiative, decision, action or programme has put us in some form of leadership position. For Nigeria to be outside the African Continental Free Trade Zone Agreement when it automatically came into effect with twenty-two-nations’ ratification is to say the least unfortunate.
“A situation where almost 40% of our population are not equipped with education to be able to make a meaningful, positive and rewarding contribution to development in this day and age is bad almost to the point of criminality. Education both in quantity and quality must be seen as the first pillar of our development after we have delivered on politics of unity in diversity in concrete and sustainable policies and actions.