Nigeria’s security situation is fueled by internal collusion – Ademola
Tade Ademola, a politician, is a former Lagos State chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC). In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on a number of issues, including the spate of insecurity in the country and government response. Excerpt;
What is your take on the spate of insecurity in Nigeria, the killings and terrorism?
The first thing you should say is that Nigeria is at war. Have you seen Lagos at night? I think we are at war, if you are not running for kidnappers you are running from herdsmen, if you are not running from herdsmen you are running from bandits or pick pockets.
So, are we not at war? We are at war now. There is nothing anybody would tell me. We are all culpable and there is nothing anybody would tell me, if it is not an organised crime it would not be on ground till this moment.
Are you surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari has done little to address the problem?
We have a President I know, but to me this is an organised crime; those that are benefiting from them are doing that. Where did they put the N20 million, I mean all the money they are collecting are they keeping it in the bush? Of course, if you tell me that I would not believe you. The way this thing is happening shows it is an organised crime; that is what it is.
I can say it anywhere that it is an organised crime; where did the bandits get the money to buy guns, Ak47 now they move in convoy. They go into a village and operate for 30 minutes, forty minutes, they ransack a village and security comes. This thing is happening everyday across the country. Are we saying we can’t get them, I mean follow their steps and track them.
So you mean they have collaborators within government circles?
It is unfortunate the way Nigeria is now, those in government are involved, those in opposition are also involved if you study the situation closely. From the utterances from those in government nobody would say they don’t know what they are doing.
From the utterances of the opposition nobody would say they don’t know what they are doing. I think it is because 2023 is around the corner and they need money to prosecute that. Have you asked why they don’t arrest the most notorious ones?
But the government is seeking foreign assistance, do you support that?
Foreign assistance when the security report would get to Boko Haram; is that not why they left initially. When they kidnapped the Americans the other day, they came here to pick the person up. Do they need to come here to get security information? So, what happened, there is collusion and collaboration within.
We can seek foreign assistance if we are genuine; if we seek foreign assistance do they know our terrain? Is it not in this country that if the armed forces are going they bombed the land first? Are you saying there is no synergy between the security forces that if you are moving you don’t know your target before you move?
What is your take on the setting up of regional security forces across the country?
It is not the way forward; each of the organisations was set up before they were bastadised and abused. I am afraid Nigeria would slide back into the era of jungle justice, because the people are tired of being misused in the past so, we should be careful.
I am afraid Nigeria would slide back into the era of justice, because the people are tired and by the time the people are pushed back they would fight back. Like I said we are at war. You run for everything, police armed robbers, armed bandits. The Amotekun, OPC, how well trained are they?
Do you support the agitations for restructuring?
As much as I have sentiment for restructuring, I still ask people, this segment that is ruling at the federal level, are they the one ruling at the state?
Are they the one ruling in Bayelsa, Oyo, Ogun States? Are those places well governed? The people there are complaining. Are you saying after we restructure the Ilorin people would not continue to dominate in Kwara, the same would not apply in Ogun and the other states? So we need to know why we are restructuring. If you want to go to the federal system, we go back to the first republic with input with what we have now.
I am in support of true federalism, let the state be in control of their resources, and they give returns to the states. For example, states should develop their housing plans and secondly some of the federal agencies should be state based.
That is why I said let restructure; if the Hisbal says you should not drink beer, you don’t collect revenue accruing from beer consumption. Do we need the Federal Inland Waters Authority? Such an agency should be Lagos controlled.
What is your assessment of the present National Assembly?
You only call them rubber stamps because we don’t know there should be separation of powers, their obligation is just to make laws and carry out oversight. They have tried in my opinion, if the executive refused to take their suggestion or law would they carry police and arrest the executive?
You want them to go and box the executives? Recently, a House of Representatives member said he can’t go to his village for six months because of the activities of terrorists. They have been summoning Ministers and they refused to appear, but the President is just looking. The lawmakers cannot say remove him and the President would obey; how many times did they tell the President to sack the service chiefs before he did it?