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Nigeria risks collapse over bad governance - Ex-NSA

By The Citizen
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Former National Security Adviser Mohammed Gambo-Jimeta fears the country could be heading for a sudden collapse due to bad governance.

Gambo-Jimeta, who was also Inspector-General of Police during the Ibrahim Babangida administration, is concerned about growing insecurity and poverty in the country, lamenting that successive governments had failed to lay a solid foundation for national development.

He said this at the National Summit on Security Challenges in Nigeria organised by the Nigeria Police Force and Vanguard Newspapers in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, 'The security situation in Nigeria, in recent times, has been a source of great concern to all patriotic citizens and to the international friends of Nigeria. The security challenges posed by the oil politics resonated with militancy in the Niger Delta, the rampant kidnapping in South-East, communal, ethnic and religious crises prominent in the North; and the current terror crimes exemplified by the Boko Haram insurgency, combined to inform the urgent need for a summit of this nature.

'The Nigeria Police Force is not alone in the dire quest for solution to the country's security problems, which tend to retard delivery of democratic dividends in some parts of the country. If the security problems are adequately contained, every other thing will naturally fall into its proper shape.

'Things are going wrong, poverty is everywhere. When you travel from Lagos to Kano, people are living in poor conditions: no water no security. Criminals are well armed, government functionaries are well guarded while ordinary Nigerians are left to the mercies of criminals.

'There is a disconnect between the people and the government. Strangulation of the aspiration of the people will result into a big implosion; God save Nigeria and Africa if 167 million black people go berserk.'

Gambo-Jimeta, who was the Chairman of the event, insisted that the Boko Haram insurgency was the consequence of bad administration, describing the problem as 'self-inflicted'.

He criticised successive administrations for neglecting the security agencies.

He said, 'Our current situation is really self-inflicted, you cannot have a state and fail to provide for the institutions of the state that are supposed to support the wellbeing of the state and the citizens.

'Whenever you see a country running into security problems, it is when it starts to neglect this all important foundation for the well being of the nation.

'There is nowhere in Nigeria today where you can sleep with your eyes closed. Let's put our priorities right, build a robust defence and internal security system.''

The former IG called for a strong judiciary as well as justice, and respect for the people to avoid a breakdown of the society.

President Goodluck Jonathan said the time had come to address the security crisis facing the nation, adding that the setting up of a presidential committee on police reform was part of initiatives to build police capacity, address deficiencies observed in recruitment and operations of the force.

Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade, said that the nation would remain secure under his administration.

He said, 'Federal Government will support efforts to professionalise the police.'

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar stated that the summit was convened to enable stakeholders to brainstorm on the ways out of the current security quagmire.