Noah Ebije, Kaduna
US-based author and veteran journalist Mr Tony Oyatedor says that poverty and bad leadership are the major factors that have given rise to the Boko Haram insurgency and the Niger Delta militancy in Nigeria.
According to him, failure to tackle poverty and Boko Haram through focused leadership are the part of reasons for the country’s current security challenges, which he said may continue unabated.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna on the need for the Federal Government to tackle the identified problems, Mr Oyatedor said, “Leadership must make peace with the twin problems, not because they want to, but because they have to, and to suggest otherwise would be inaccurate.”
He noted that Nigeria is rich in natural and human resources, but suffers from widespread poverty due to bad leadership
“Leadership must implement short-term goals to improve life for Nigerians. The country must wake up after a decades-long slumber,” Oyatedor said.
“Successful leadership must work hard to build up reservoirs of goodwill (friends, not enemies) with their party, other branches of government, the media, the people of Nigeria, the people of their state, and local government origins, so that when the cookie crumbles (and it always will) they can tap into that goodwill to carry them through the difficulties.”
Oyatedor said he embarked on a research of Nigeria’s security challenges and came up with solutions to the problems.
“The people of Nigeria want to know what the solutions to the problems (not challenges) are; not continue to talk about the same problems, decade after decade and call them challenges.
“The twin problems in Nigeria is a serious problem and no one is working to fix it; they only talk about it…
“For a while now, there has been distress (trouble and anguish) in Nigeria, a nation in bewilderment and perplexity (without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn). People swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectations of the things that are coming to the nation,” Oyatedor remarked.
“The leadership must know that using weapons to end the crisis magnifies rather than mitigates the problem. The crisis in Nigeria (the twin problems) is like a river of fire and Nigerians are swimming in it.
“Instead of further rebuke, leadership and the people of Nigeria should rather turn and graciously forgive and comfort and encourage one another to keep from being overwhelmed by excessive pain and despair,” he admonished.