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How to tackle Nigeria’s security challenge, by Obasanjo’s former security aide, others

A retired Principal Staff Officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) and former Senior Security detail to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, Adetayo Oluwaseyi has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately commence the process of restructuring the country and embark on massive recruitment into the Nigerian military as parts of measures to reduce the areas of discontentment which he, alongside others said are contributory factors to the current security bedlam in Nigeria.

Also, Lagos-based legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Chima Nnaji has said that the propensity to dominate the citizenry by leaders who deploy religion, ethnic sentiments and the notion that a certain groups of people are born to rule the country must be downplayed to eliminate provocation generated across the country.

The duo, alongside others spoke at a forum in Lagos at the weekend where experts gathered to proffer solutions to the myriad of what many described as unacceptable spate of recurring wanton destruction of lives and property across the country.

The forum, tagged ‘A day with the Parish Priest’ was put together by the Catholic Men Organisation of Nigeria (CMO) of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja with the theme: ‘Insecurity in Nigeria: implication for ethnic and religious harmony’.

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Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, represented by Wilfred Nwachukwu, Alfred Adewale Martins described the annual forum as one where thought-provoking solutions are generated and affirmed that with God, the mammoth challenges in Nigeria would soon be history.

The CMO Chairman, St. Leos chapter, Maurice Offiong said the security problems in the country calls for urgent attention and drastic actions from all as it is the masses, who cut across all ethnic and religious divides that bears a lion’s share of the brunt of the problem.

Also speaking, a former presidential candidate and Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Yunusa Tanko said the turnaround for the country must include a demand for apologies from political leaders who for years speaks to the citizens’ ethnic, religious and political inclinations in order to remain in power.

Tanko said that electorates should henceforth choose leaders who are thinkers and in turn with the global realities affirming that majority of the current leaders are bereft of how to govern a country in the 21st century.

In her intervention, Chairperson of the occasion and public relation expert, Nkechi Ali-Balogun who made a case for the involvement of women in peace-making processes, said: “Ethnicity in Nigeria overrides class politics and national interest. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups with a complex coloration and admixture. One of those colorations is religion. Religious affiliation is linked to Nigeria’s notable ethnic diversity.”

The former President Obasanjo’s security aide, Adetayo explained that the Boko Haram insurgency was the result of the inaction of governments in the past to pay attention to a growing number of extremists who participated in wars and undergo trainings in Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan and Algeria before returning back home and acquired followers thereafter.

Adetayo, who is the president and chief executive officer of EONS Intelligence, said the terrorists have legitimate demands.

“In my interactions with commanders of Boko Haram and leaders of bandits over the years, a recurring agitation noticed among them is their exclusion by political leaders who rode on their back to power.

“Our leaders play the ethnic and religious cards to perpetuate their grip on power and then abandon them once they get into office. Ideologies are part of problem fanning the crisis in the country. We have made several mistakes and we kept quiet,” he said.

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