Former Minister of Power and Steel, Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, has hinged the inability of the country to defeat Boko Haram and other militia groups on highly politicised military and weak judiciary.
Hagher said the senseless killings in the North Eastern and North-Central part of the country, particularly Benue, would continue unabated if the military was not strengthened to perform its duty in line with global best practices in counter terrorism.
Delivering a lecture entitled: ‘The Insecurity Factor in Nigeria Stunted Metamorphose to Greatness’ at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Hagher urged the federal government to procure all necessary equipment for the military and accord judiciary the freedom to try suspected terrorists without interference.
The lecture was in commemoration of the 2018 Law Week of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti branch.
The presidential aspirant of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), urged Nigerians to perceive the 2019 general election as a year revolution must occur in the country.
He said the revolution he was suggesting was not that of bloodshed or the one that required brandishing of dangerous weapons but one that would be accomplished via electoral struggle.
The former ABUAD Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, described bad leadership and corruption as the real course of insecurity in Nigeria, saying it was the same crises that were affecting the military and judiciary to perform its responsibilities in the war against terror.
He said: “The biggest threat to national greatness is insecurity. In Nigeria today, there is an unprecedented scale of killings and kidnapping, illegal bunkering, job racketeering, abductions, human trafficking, internally displaced persons, armed robberies, communal fights, and crimes against humanity and a glaring execution of genocide against hated groups by well-protected herdsmen terrorists.
“Insecurity is detrimental to the well being of society. It lowers
life expectancy and leads to death. Nigeria’s life expectancy is 54 years, this is unfavourably compared to the global average which is 71years. Those who are living in Nigeria live a low quality of life!
“Insecurity destroys the economy because without peace it is difficult
for economic activities to thrive. Insecurity destroys businesses, infrastructure, properties and equipment, and businesses relocate to
more secure countries or other secure locations.
“Oil companies in the South-South relocated away from the region and some even out of the country. In the same way companies operating in
the North-Eastern Nigeria had to relocate outside the zone, schools and hospitals were closed down as some doctors and teachers were killed and the remaining fled!
“Insecurity creates political instability, migration, internally
displaced people, capital flight, brain drain, reduction of Foreign Direct Investment and underdevelopment. Many people in the diaspora today left Nigeria due to crime and insecurity, as a direct result of an assault or a robbery or death of a relation or a friend from violence.”
Espousing further reasons why Nigeria military should be
professionalised, Hagher said it took a strong and virile military for the Zimbabwe to get out of political mess and slavery under the dictatorship of President Robert Mugabe.
“When Zimbabwe was in crisis, it took a strong military in that
country to stand up and acted professionally. They seized power from Mugabe and handed it over to a democratically elected person, that was how a military should intervene a country from being degraded,” he said.
He said since the return to full democracy in 1999, the Nigerian leaders have cared very little about the common person.
“President Obasanjo’s drive to-wards ridding Nigeria of its heavy debt burden was hope for the common man, but today we have slid back to
another thread-mill debt, which is piling. Today the worst level of leadership failure has gripped the nation”, he stated .
Hagher expressed regret on how bad leaders have been hiding under religion, which he said has become a deadly virus that has entered the Nigerian politics to divide the nation.
“The nation is terminally ill as the executive, legislature and the judiciary have continued to deny Nigeria the greatness it deserves. The Nigerian leaders compromise with criminals and deny citizens the means by which their grievances could be addressed.
“The security agencies lack the appropriate skills and expertise to secure peace, safety and happiness of the people. Sadly, the Nigerian Leaders who negotiate and do business with criminals have weakened government’s ability to fight insurgency, banditry and other crimes. In many states in the country some governors have criminals on their payroll.
“Money meant for education, health and infrastructure is diverted to f ight insecurity. Doctors, nurses and teachers flee from conflict zones. Economic activities are stalled while the ordinary citizens become victims of rape, kidnappings abductions and invalids from bomb blast
“Nigerians look forward to a bleak and uncertain future as the general elections of 2019 draw near. The 2019 presidential election is set against this backdrop: the authorization of greater insecurity by voting President Buhari for four more years of more of the same collective insecurity, corruption and escalation of genocide,” he stated.