Wabara, Ladoja, Fayemi raise concern over state of nation

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Uba Group

BY AKINWALE ABOLUWADE, IBADAN

Senator Rashidi Ladoja, former governor of Oyo State, has described the mass movement of the Nigerian youths and professionals abroad as worrisome.

The Ibadan chief, in his address at the Babatunde Oduyoye Annual Birthday Lecture in Ibadan, on Tuesday, said that unless the trend was reversed, the future of the country remained bleak.

Ladoja, who said that the youths were supposed to breathe hope into the country, lamented that they were already trooping out in droves to develop other nation.

He listed unemployment and inflation as main reasons for youths’ relocation abroad, saying, “Our children are relocating abroad. The prices of foodstuffs and other commodities are going up on a daily basis. This is causing tension in many homes where the husbands and the wives are employed.

“The youths and the professionals who should stay and build our country are rushing abroad. It used to be doctors alone travelling abroad but now, everybody is relocating. We are living on a borrowed time.”

Former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, recommended the decentralisation of security architecture as a major drive to addressing insecurity in the land.

Wabara said, “There have been growing agitations for self-determination from the South-East and the South-West. The media was awash with the unfortunate and senseless story credited to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), where he threatened that the Federal Government would declare state of emergency in Anambra State in view of the wanton killings taking place there.

“Of course, the Peoples Democratic Party has told the Federal Government to back off such thought. In the same vein, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Afenifere, PANDEF and other ethnic nationality groups have spoken.

“It is not easy to declare state of emergency and, the last one was unfortunately declared by me on Plateau (State) and I know the consequences of such declaration.

“Rather than adopting the kneel-jerk approach in tackling the menace of security problem facing the country currently, the government at the centre needs to look deep down and design solutions.

“In my view, the solution should include the decentralisation of the over-centralised security apparatus in the hands of one ethnic nationality in Nigeria by doing the constitutional approach of Federal Character to our national security system.”

The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, while congratulating Oduyoye, said that the celebrant had built a solid political brand. “It is no wonder he has continued to be relevant. It is very telling that while many celebrate their birthday, sometime with obscene opulence and profligate pageantry, Hon. Oduyoye has chosen to celebrate his birthday through a convocation of intellectual prefects to feast on the most pressing issue in our national polity today,” he stated.

On the current state of the nation, he said, “Security of life is the most important of all the functions of government. It is, therefore, no surprise that the nation’s security situation has continued to receive intensity and frequency of discourse in private and public gatherings in Nigeria.

“After 22 years into the Fourth Republic, Nigeria is confronted by a new, more complex and treacherous threat environment. The orientation that previously governed the operation of our security agencies, having been tailored to address the perceived dangers of yesteryears, is now out of date.

“The political class also needs to fashion a new way of communicating their politics beyond the now obnoxious resort to ethnic jingoism, sectarian and divisive rhetoric. This nation is in need of patriotic statesmen and women and not rumour mongers, ethnic crisis entrepreneurs, provincial men of little minds who see everything from the prism of ethnic and religious conspiracy.

“It is time we started a new conversation about our national development, peace and prosperity. There should be an elite consensus on what is the minimum irreducible and acceptable standard of public conduct, but taking due cognisance that peace can only come on the platter of fairness and justice. It is time to build a nation and not to fritter it away.”