From: Fred Ezeh and Susan Obaje, Abuja
Ex-military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) has reminded Nigerians, especially politicians, that no nation can exist without adequate security.
He reminded thosefanning the embers of division and war via their utterances to have a rethink and promote things that would strengthen the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria.
The elder statesman said that their individual and collective ambitions, as well as the entity called Nigeria would be no more, if major crisis or war is visited on Nigeria.
He then suggested a paradigm shift in security system of Nigeria, considering the new waves of crime and criminality that has caused tears and pains in many countries of the world, Nigeria inclusive.
Abdulsalami, who spoke in Abuja, at the first National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Faculty of Social Sciences public lecture, with the topic “Nigeria in Transition: Interrogating the nexus between human capacity development, labour union, education and national security,” insisted that Nigeria and Nigerians could only enjoy peace and progress in an atmosphere that is well secured and fortified against external aggression.
Said he, “Certainly, security in any house, in any nation in very important for the peace and progress of that nation. But without security, there won’t be a house, neither would there be a nation, not to talk of its citizens,” he said.
Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, who spoke through a representative, Prof. Rufai Alkali, however, highlighted the importance of the lecture, which according to him, was a veritable platform to periodically examine all facet of the Nigeria’s national life particularly as it concerns transition as a nation.
He thus commended NOUN Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Ganiyat Adesina-Uthman for putting together the public lecture, encouraging other faculties to emulate such gesture for collective growth and development of Nigeria.
The Dean, in her remarks admitted that even though things have gone, it could still be corrected but all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation must support and commit to the course.
She said, “With the collapse of almost all sphere of the economy, elections characterized by malpractices, political intimidation and assassination during and after elections and preponderance of social vices, and other threat to national security, we could conclude that our dysfunctional education are some of the reason for the challenges regarding insecurity, insurgency and terrorism.”
Meanwhile, the guest lecturer, Prof. Hakeem Tijani from the Department of History and International Studies, Adeleke University, Osun state, recalled with nostalgia, the cordial relationship that hitherto existed between different arms of government which resulted in growth and development.
He said relationship also led to industrial peace between different labour unions and their employers.
He highlighted the importance of education to human capacity development which automatically translate to national development, predicting greater human and infrastructural development of Nigeria if all the key arms of government would collectively forge ahead, leaving behind, their differences and personal ambitions.