Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A cleric and the Chief Imam, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state, Dr. Abdulhakeem Akanni has attributed the rising security threats in Nigeria as factors responsible for economy instability in the country.
He also noted that kidnappings and herdsmen-farmers clashes across the country has prevented farmers to work on their farmlands, thereby forcing Nigerians to buy the few available farm produce at high rate.
Akanni who spoke in Abeokuta on Sunday at the 14th Annual lecture of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Ogun state chapter, however blamed Nigerians for the precarious situation.
He stressed that government’s failure to provide good roads, stable electricity, unbiased judicial system, payment of pension and gratuities, employment generation and equity in the sharing formula has forced many Nigerians to seek alternative means of sustainability.
Delivering his lecture on the topic: “Security and Economic Stability: Imperative for good governance in Nigeria”, the Islamic scholar equally blamed the citizens for their insincerity and disobedience to rule of law.
“You will observe that the precarious situation we found ourselves in this country got to this stage as a result of what both leaders and followers have done. We are all stakeholders in this and we all contributed into what this nation is today by our nefarious activities.
“We blame government officials for unemployment, bad roads, non provision of electricity, non payment of gratuities, non payment of pension, non remittance of cooperative deductions, lack of facilities in our hospitals and schools, but as Nigerians too, we also contributed to some of these problems. Some Nigerians support smugglers, some cheat in exams, parents enrol their children in special centres to participate in exam malpractices, teachers write answers on chalkboard for students during examinations, religious leaders don’t speak the truth anymore. These are the things that have brought our country to this precarious situation.
“For us to move Nigeria forward, we need attitudinal change and for the leaders, they should be accountable to the masses and do self-assessment of their performance.
“There is too much bloodshed in the country. There is injustice in our VAT system. The federal government should stop robbing some regions to satisfy the interest of other regions. Let us stop our corrupt practices and seek the face of God.” The scholar stated
Speaking on the theme of the lecture: “Insecurity and National Unity: The Nation on trial”, Ustadh Muhammad Jamiu Tirimidhi Akano maintained that, the political instability, insecurity, and banditry were caused by tribal and religious crisis.
Akano who is the Chairman, Committee of Experts, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation expressed disappointment in Nigeria political leaders, saying inspite of their religiousity, adherents have failed the nation.
He called on Nigerians to demonstrate unconditional love for one another irrespective of religion, tribe, race and position.
According to him, merit in national appointment as against states and ethnic based nomination and inclusion of religious and moral instruction in school curriculum and constitution would return the country to the path of glory.
In his welcome address, the Waali of the Ogun State chapter of TMC, Dr. Ogunkoya Ibrahim maintained that, the theme for the lecture centred on finding the right mix of governance, leadership and political stability with particular reference to the roles of religious and political leaders.
He said the wave of overlapping security crises and political discordances rocking the nation, especially at a time the country is wallowing in the throes of economic downturn has necessitated the group to contribute its quota to the development of the country.
He expressed bitterness that, Nigeria which has once provided continental leadership in the economic sphere and in international diplomacy, including military and political leadership, is now groping in the dark, and struggling to find its feet.
Ogunkoya noted further that, the abject lack of commitment, by both the leaders and the citizens, to a united, stable, developed and prosperous Nigeria has put the country on the brink of collapse, as hard-line separatists and ethnic jingoists are springing up with agitations for separation and outright balkanization of the country.
“However, in spite of these precarious circumstances, we believe there is hope for a better tomorrow as every cloud has its silver lining. Change is indeed possible. This independence anniversary offers a veritable opportunity for us to begin a sincere process of national healing.
“First, there must be a top-down approach to a mental and moral reorientation. From the politician in the office, the faith leader in the sanctuary, to the common man on the street, we must all come to the realization that it is the wish of the Almighty Allah (SWT) that we dwell in this geographic expression called Nigeria as a people of an undivided nation and there is no other place we can rightfully call our own.
“Therefore, a good starting point for a change towards national integration is for us to disabuse ourselves of the out-dated perception of seeing ourselves as being from a part of the country before recognizing that we are Nigerians. As such, all hands must be on deck to ensure we take a clean break from our ugly past and chart a new beginning for our political and economic future”. He submitted.