Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, and a former Chief of Army Staff, General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (retd), have appealed to Nigerians to shun religious and ethnic sentiments ahead of the 2023 general elections.
They spoke yesterday at the Annual Public Lectures and Impact Series/Awards organised by the Blueprint Newspapers in Abuja.
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The governor, who chaired the event, said the 2023 elections provided Nigeria another opportunity to have a competence-driven election of new leaders to enhance national unity and development.
Speaking on the theme of the event, “2023: Politics, National Security and Nigeria’s Stability”, Buni explained that all Nigerians were indebted to the country.
“The success or otherwise of the 2023 elections hugely depends on us the politicians, the political parties, candidates and their supporters, and of course, the political umpire the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” he said.
The APC chieftain lamented that the country was still struggling despite huge natural and human capital resources.
In his keynote lecture, Dambazzau harped on urgent security reform in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections and called on Nigerians to go for right leadership devoid of sentiments.
The former minister of interior said the security architecture needed urgent reforms predicated on security governance driven by emergency response, planning and effective integrated system that could effectively curb activities of bandits and insurgents in the country.
He admonished security agencies to be more coordinated and proactive in their operations against bandits and insurgents.
“If we had effective and integrated system that responds to national emergencies, the terrorists would not have had the audacity to conduct their Abuja-Kaduna train and Kuje prisons attacks, and even left the scenes without trace after spending hours conducting their operations,” he said.
At the event, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, said six months was too much to eliminate terrorists, bandits and other criminals, if the country was ready to end insecurity.
He threatened Nigerian elite he said were profiteering from the ranging insecurity in the country.
He said, “We are the ones that are responsible to solve these challenges. You can’t have those that are causing trouble, coming up with these challenges, to be the same persons that will solve it. We can’t have those profiting from insecurity to solve the same problem, do you want to close their markets? How is that possible?”
Bello said he had set traps for many government officials causing insecurity in the country by buying sophisticated weapons for criminals and he would expose them soon.
“We have to ask how bandits get the sophisticated weapons they are holding. A bullet of AK-47 is about N500 and you see these criminals holding it in a sack or in cartons, and you think they have the money to buy all of these arms and ammunition? It is a lie, who armed them? Politicians!”