The insincerity on the part of the Nigerian government and its security agencies have helped worsen the spate of insecurity across the country, Ukachukwu Awuzie, a professor of landscape architecture, has said.
Mr Awuzie spoke at a lecture he delivered at the national executive council meeting of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association on July 17 in Owerri.
The lecture was titled ‘Restoring the Dignity of Man Amidst the Security Challenges in Nigeria.’
“It is a verifiable point that from Sagamu to Uyo, there are more than a thousand checkpoints of soldiers, police, NDLEA, customs, immigration, SSS, quarantine thugs, and tax collectors, but in the North, bandits travel like from Lagos to Aba to kidnap and abduct school children and no one sees them moving, what a malady?
“It is also a statement of fact that Sheik Gumi has for the umpteenth time told us that he knows the bandits and does occasionally interact with them and yet no one has arrested him for questioning or for imprisonment. If any southern religious leader makes such a claim, he would be arrested and imprisoned even before trial,” said Mr Awuzie.
The professor said the “different-stroke-for-different-people” and “biased security” system have also led to more insecurity.
“This bias was further amplified after the attack on Owerri Correctional Facilities and the State Police Headquarters by the unknown gunmen. Without any investigation, the then IGP announced that the action was by ESN and IPOB even when the IPOB spokesman had announced that they had no hand in the attack.
“On the contrary, when the Nigeria Air force jet crashed in the North, Boko Haram claimed responsibility, but the Nigerian government exonerated them, claiming it was due to technical problem.
“In all these developments, the human beings/citizens of the nation have been humiliated, killed, camped in deplorable camps called IDP camps. Some of these IDPs were even abused by those put in charge of them. Here in the camps, on our streets, in our schools, in our market places, in our highways, in our national and State Assemblies, in our churches, in our homes, at the airports local and international, the dignity of a Nigeria person is abashed.”
The don identified other causes of insecurity in the country to include the 1999 Constitution, double standard in the application of Nigerian laws, and lopsided appointments.
He said while the armed herders have been classified internationally as the fourth most dangerous terrorist organisation in the world, “they are embraced, protected, pampered, and even provided for by the government.”
“They go about killing Nigerians, raping our women, and kidnapping our children and unleashing all manner of violence on the people whereas IPOB that is unarmed and only agitating for the right to self-determination as enshrined in the international charters are declared a terrorist organisation by government and even proscribed.”
He also said the Constitution has “lopsided provisions” that favour the north.
“This reflects negatively against the South in all spheres of representations and appointments. For example, the old Kano State which was split into Jigawa and Kano has 72 local governments as against the 96 for the whole of South-east and the entire old Kano and Sokoto Emirates control 1/3 of the total Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
“Again while the old Kano State has 36 Members of the House of Representatives, the five states of the South East has only 45 members in the Green Chamber.
“The sale of alcohol is prohibited in Kano and some northern states, they receive a junk of the money from VAT the bulk of this is generated income from the sale of alcohol.
“With this scenario, any Legislation which the North is not comfortable with is killed even before the second reading except if it is amended to reflect the wish of the North as is today manifested in the 3% and 5% controversy in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“The 1999 Constitution is a poison to the unity and oneness of Nigeria and therefore needed total rejection and an urgent dialogue amongst the Federating units to fashion out a new Constitution that guarantees a Nigeria that works for all and that ensures justice, equity and fair-play for all.”
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