-By Albert OGRAKA:
Civil rights activist and 2023 gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Shehu Sani, has expressed grave concern on the heightened insecurity situation in Nigeria.
The former Kaduna Central senator in the 8th National Assembly was guest speaker at a two-day seminar/workshop on “Good Governance and Democratic Sustainability Vis-a-Vis Electoral Process,” organised by the Asaba Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Delta State Council, on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Asaba,, Delta State capital.
He blamed the gross insecurity situation in the country on the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government, alleging that they have failed in the fight against insecurity despite spending a huge amount, totalling N4.2 trillion on defence and security in the last seven years, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, “We spent $1 billion to purchase Tucano jets and this has not stopped kidnapping, banditry and terrorism in the country.
“The terrorists are only armed with motorcycles and AK-47 rifles, yet we keep pumping billions of dollars into security and defence without achieving results.
While despising the continued wastage of monies on security, he lamented that kidnappers use Nigerian registered numbers to call relatives for ransom with no trace of anyone or arrest.
“This is a country that in the last seven years has spent N 4.2trillion for defence and security and the government has not been able to stop kidnapping.”
“Kidnappers call the family of their victims and tell them to bring the money, using Nigeria SIM cards and nobody is traced or arrested. So you ask yourself; all this idea of linking SIM to National Identity Number (NIN) is just nonsense.”
“The people are not even asking to be lifted out of poverty but to secure their lives while they manage their poverty.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Asaba Correspondent Chapel, Comrade Dominic Adewole, indicated that the success of 2023 election is hinged on the keen adherence to the provisions of the new Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, and political players, particular the contestants and the electorate.
Comrade Adewole noted that the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy beyond 2023 depends on the effective implementation of the Electoral Act, adding that with the new Act, there is the rising optimism that the irregularities and electoral malfeasance usually associated with elections in the country would be reduced to the barest minimum, if not completely eradicated.
The ceremony which was declared open by the Delta state governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, was represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who urged Nigerians to be active participants in the political process in order to entrench good governance and democratic sustainability in the country’s polity.
The governor in his good will message lauded all journalists in the state, especially members of the Asaba Correspondents chapel for their unflinching support to the Okowa-led government, through their reportage.
”For us as a government, we are pleased with the chapel and all other members. All the success recorded was because you stood with us and are still standing with us to enable us enjoy the peace we are experiencing together.”
The epoch making event was attended by the state Chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Comrade Mike Ikeogu, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ari, represented by his Deputy, the guest lecturer from the University of Port-Harcourt, Professor Goodwin Okon, personally from the military and other security agents, including a myriad of journalists, political appointees, mass communication students of tertiery institutions, amongst others.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to selected beneficiaries.