Insecurity: If we don't desist, it will consume us - Gowon

By The Citizen

Prominent Nigerians have continued to condemn the increasing rate of insecurity and killings in the country. They also frowned at loss of lives and properties in some parts of the country.

Unless, we desist, it will consume us-Gowon

Elder statesman,  General Yakubu Gowon,  former Head of State who spoke with Saturday Vanguard, lamented that the country is degenerating to a level where lives have been devalued and unless we desist from perpetrating evil, the country might not be saved.

Yakubu Gowon
According to him, 'It is unfortunate that insecurity has become a norm in the country. I do not know why Nigerians do not value the lives of other Nigerians. Life in this country is valueless and I do not know why this is happening.

'We have lost our religious beliefs, both Christian and Muslim. I cannot honestly understand why this is happening to a country like Nigeria. But, I will continue to pray and advise every concerned individual to value the life of every Nigerian in the country.

'If we do not value one another, then we will destroy ourselves and we will be out of reckoning in this world. I am sad about what is happening and I am praying to God that all those perpetrators of evil will desist from doing so, otherwise, it will consume all of us.

'It is as if our security forces cannot deal with them but it is the people themselves that are ensuring that the country continue to face the toughest challenge of its life regarding insecurity. If everyone desists from evil, I believe we will all rejoice at the end'.

On the effect of insecurity in the country especially in the 2015 elections, he said, 'the possibility of the election taking place first lies in the hands of all Nigerians. We must do our best to get everybody to desist from this evil, otherwise, there can't be free and fair election if we are starting on this note'.

All these are indications of a failed state-Col Umar

In his contribution, Col Abubakar Umar said that  solving the insecurity issue in Nigeria is a collective responsibility of government and every Nigerian.

Abubakar Umar
According to him, 'Tackling serious insecurity challenge should not just be looked at only from the  government's perspective. All Nigerians must put hands on deck to solve this problem.

'The insecurity in the North Eastern  part of Nigeria, the kidnappings in the South East, the resurgence of the militancy in the Niger Delta and of course the kidnappings in the South West. All these are indications of a country moving towards collapse or a failed state. Coupled with that is the kind of politics going on now, the politics of intimidation, tenure for office at all cost. Politicians are not giving us any hope and this is just an indication that there might be serious crisis by 2015', he added.

On how this problem would play out in the 2015 elections, he said, 'Expectations have been raised both for the governing party and the new opposition.  These  expectations are not going to be less. I can see what the  situation would be if expectations are not met in 2015.

This is the reason why politicians should be careful of statements that are capable of overheating the polity. It  will be wise for politicians to begin to think of how this county will survive rather than thinking of winning elections', he continued.

On the killing of police officers in Nasarawa, he said, 'It is scary that 120 policemen  can be killed within a few hours. It is either that the policemen were  not well-trained or they were not well-equipped to meet this kind of insurgences that are happening in the country or both.

'I believe they are not well trained and equipped which the government of this country must look into holistically. I cannot imagine how a militia group can surpass the police and ambush 120 policemen  within  a few hours. It is more trouble when you know that the insurgents are using charms. So, government must look at this problem especially in the Northern part of the country.

'Apart from that, the Fulani/Tiv rift and the Bama clash had become a major threat in the country and I have not seen enough efforts being made so that these kinds of occurrences are averted. There should be a deliberate effort by all states government especially in the North to make sure they create  ways for Fulanis so as not to trespass into farmlands', he further stated

Reacting to the rift between Northern Elders and Niger Delta Militants, he said, 'I do not see why the North should react to Asari Dokubo's words. By now, people should understand the tactics employed by people like Asari Dokubo. People who are talking about war under democracy are not democrats. In fact, there is no problem between the Niger Delta and the Northerners as we should know.

'It is the political opportunists that are thinking of this kind of issue and those who are looking forward to positions in the forthcoming elections.

'It is totally unnecessary. I think Nigerians must love one another and they must see this country as a united entity and be working towards its stability for the good of all,not this optimistic warfare or execution that will not serve the best interest of the country.

'If Nigeria should disintegrate, even the Niger Delta that has enough oil will suffer serious consequences of instability as well as the North. With this understanding, there is no point engaging in war of words.

'We should all pull back and think of a better country. If Jonathan deserves to win in the forthcoming election, then it will depend on his  performances in governing this country in the last six years. I think, the politics of do or die is not in the best interest of this country', he added.

The development is totally unacceptable and downright barbaric-Lai Mohammed

Alh. Lai Mohammed
Meanwhile, Alhaji Lai Mohammed National Publicity Secretary Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said, the party has expressed its condolences to the families of the security agents who were killed by a militia group in Nasarawa state recently, calling their killing brutal and calamitous.

In his reaction, he called on the federal government to cater for the wives, children and other dependants of the slain security personnel  so as to minimize the impact of their bereavement

His words: 'We condemn the rate at which insurgents and militia groups in the country are targeting and killing security agents, the development is totally unacceptable and downright barbaric. 'I believe there is need for the authorities to declare a zero tolerance for the killing of security agents by ensuring that those who perpetrate such killings are fished out and brought to justice without delay.

'Meanwhile, there is need for continuous training and the provision of necessary equipment for the security agents so that they can adequately protect themselves while carrying on their constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and property.

'A poorly-trained, poorly-motivated and inadequately kitted security agent is a soft target for the kind of stone-age marauders now rampaging across our country,'' he said.