President Muhammadu Buhar has been called upon to convoke a national conference without delay and rework the Nigerian constitution, so as to tackle some of the challenges confronting the nation.
Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said with the rate of hunger and killing of Nigerians, especially in the northern region of the country by insurgents, bandits, among other criminal elements in the nation, there neis an urgent need for Nigerians to change her constitution to respond to the demands of the people.
He made the call while delivering a keynote address with the theme “An insight into government’s action to restore confidence and build Nigeria’s security infrastructure,”, at the 2021 Pre-Synod Nehemiah Summit of the Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion), tagged, “Towards a safe and secure Nigeria”, held on Saturday at All Souls’ Church, Lekki, Lagos.
Fayemi who Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum said that any loss of life was a loss to all Nigerians, adding that it was not only about the family members when dear ones lose their lives, they feel it more.
According to him insecurity is increasing, and getting Nigerians worried, and about one hundred thousand people have so far been killed by insurgents and bandits in the country.
On how to restore confidence and beef up security in Nigeria, in order to secure the lives and properties of citizens, Fayemi advised that additional measures would need to be put in place to achieve that.
He was also of the view that there should be for a reform in the criminal justice system of the country, otherwise, it would not be easy to bring an end to the problem of insecurity in the country.
Fayemi who spoke on : “An insight into government’ s actions to restore confidence and build Nigeria’s security infrastructure, observed that Nigeria has a high number of young people who need to be engagedalthy and gainful activities, “A large number of young Nigerians are drug addicts, such as tramadol, and other dangerous substances, which could damage their health.There is unemployment, climate change and other factors fueling violence, extremism. People are not innately criminal, there are sometimes sociological underpinning responsible for the criminality, but we take it sequentially and stem the tide of this violence.
“We need both kinetic, that is, military and non-kinetic for those who are beyond redemption, we must go after them and take them out. However, the problem cannot be solved by taking them out violently, we need broader strategy that is why I talked about tackling youth employment, stemming the tide of drug proliferation, small arms proliferation and fundamentally reordering of our national constitution to respond to local dynamics.
The governor also made case for multilevel policing, to ensure that the local people are responsible for their own security, as there is no federal entity in the world that has a unitary police. “Having been confronted all these challenges, we need to change the constitution of Nigeria to respond to the demands of the people.”
In his address, the Diocesan and Missioner, Diocese of Lagos, (Anglican Communion) and convener of the summit, Rt. Revd.(Dr) Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye said the summit was unique and strategic in Nigeria’s ccollective efforts to wrestle the ship of the nation from imminent wreck and secure her navigation to safe haven of social justice, political development and economic transformation.
He informed that theme of the summit is not only timely and strategic, but also a prophetic call and contribution as a church to the ongoing national conversation of securing Nigeria.
Olumakaiye called for unity and dedication of Nigerians to rebuilding the nation through convocation of national conference and restructuring as well.
He said it is high time Nigerians came together to hold a national conference, and rework the country’s constitution to reflect the will of all tribes, religion and groups in the nation. “Restructuring is also paramount at regional, state and especially, at the local government level. ‘”This year’s summit is unique and strategic in our collective effort to wrestle the ship of the Nigerian State from imminent wreck , and this serves as the prophetic call and contribution , as the Church to the ongoing national conversion of securing Nigeria.
Olumakaiye expressed regret that recently, Nigeria has been enmashed in a firebox of insecurity that is wrecking hundreds of lives on daily basis, in form of kidnapping, banditry and Islamic insurgency, adding that the economic reports in the recent time , show him inflation rate, the likes of which has never witnessed in the country for a long time. “Prices of goods and services have skyrocketed, with millions of Nigerians unable to eat one-square meal per day. Every sector of the nation has crumbled and the vital signs of the nation, as diagnosed by mere observation, are showing acute sign of a failed state.
“This nation that was pregnant with great potential of becoming leading state in Africa and one of the leading states in the world, some six decades ago, has now become like that of the dilapidating, deteriorating and crushing ruins of Jerusalem walls of Nehemiah 1:3.”
Just as it was in the story of Judah two thousand years ago, Olumakaiye insisted that the Nigerian masses living in the villages and small towns are in great distress and fear of bandits, kidnappers and insurgent attacks. ‘The wall of security has completely broken down, the gate of governance has been burnt down in the fire of bigotry, ethnicity, nepotism, corruption and bribery. This summit is therefore a moment of sober reflection of genuine repentance and of a strategic deliberation on how we will arise to rebuilding the wall of our own Jerusalem and restore normalcy to the reproachable situation of the nation.’
He recalled that there had been calls for convocation of national conference and restructuring from almost all corners of the nation, and expressed belief that now is the right time in the national history for Nigerians to come together and deliberate the way to maintain the unity of the country. “At this critical moment, it behoves that we have a national conference and rework our constitution to reflect the will of all the things ribes in the nation. Restructuring is also Paramount at regional, state and especially at the Local Government level. The impact of government must be felt at the local. The blurred line between the state and local government, must be restored in such a way the local government should be able to bring dividends of governance to the masses.”
The bishop was optimistic that in spite the insecurity , high inflation rate and other problems confronting Nigeria, the country, which had the potential of becoming a leading state in Africa, and the world at large, some decades, could return to its former glorious state, with a concerted effort.
In his lecture, titled “ The role of the Church in building a safe and secure Nigeria”, the Bishop, Theologian, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. (Prof.) Dapo Asaju pointed out that insecurity and other problems confronting Nigeria were spiritually inclined, so the Church needs to wake up to its responsibility of battling the problems with fervent prayers.
He explained that what is happening currently in Nigeria, is not peculiar to the country and admonished christians to change their strategy to combating the insecurity in the nation.”The insecurity in Nigeria is as serious issue that needs to be taken serious. We,, as Christians need to work together to save the situation. Many do not know that it is aimed at silencing the Christians, but we will not all that to happen.”
He further noted that it would take only a rejuvenated heart to bring any country or people enmeshed in so much problems like Nigeria is in at the moment, out of such problems. “Having seen the way things are going, it is obvious that the situation will be matched with spritual warfare, else, things we will get of hand.’
Chairperson of the Summit, Hon. Justice Roseline Ukeje, Former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court also stressed the need for a peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Ukeje who is the first female judge of Federal High Court in Nigeria during her closing remarks prayed for peace, justice and fairness in Nigeria.
Hon. Justice Cecilia Olatoregun, Retired Judge of the Federal High Court gave lecture lon ;”Assessment of the role of the judiciary towards a secure Nigeria,’ while First Chartered Security Professional in West Africa, Dr Ona Ekhomu will on; ‘The impact of security on the average Nigerian.