Leaders of thought from different fields in Kogi state were unanimous in expressing reservations on the pervasive state of insecurity in Nigeria.
The leaders of different ethnic-based organizations, religious bodies, civil society organizations and media expressed concerns at the one day multi-stakeholder dialogue organised by Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, with support from the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy Democracy Development (SCDDD) in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, at Miami Hotel on Thursday.
Anchored by Majeed Dahiru, speakers at the dialogue posited that security agencies and governments at all levels in the country are obviously overwhelmed by the current security challenges.
In her submission, Muslima Itopa, a broadcast journalist, called on government to engage the services of traditional rulers in combating crimes and violence.
Former Majority Leader, Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Alhassan Salisu Adakeke, submitted that the spate of banditry, upsurge in crimes and nationwide insecurity are ominous signs of impending revolution.
Adakeke accused politicians of creating avenues for current state of insecurity to thrive.
Representatives of youth groups bemoaned fraudulent activities by officials handling the various social intervention schemes introduced by the government. They warned that if government fails to proffer solutions to rising unemployment and dwindling education in the country, crimes and violence will remain attractive to the restless youths.
Ahead 2023 general elections, the stakeholders review current state of the Nigerian nation and proffered solutions.
Mike Abu, a journalist, called for dissolution of power, autonomy for judiciary, State Houses of Assembly and the local government.
He called for the abolishment of state of origin, arguing that state of residency should be adopted for national integration and cohesion.
A former Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Umar Ahmed called on every patriotic Nigerian to get involved in politics and nation building.
He warned that if politics is left for the ‘bad’ people, good people will live to endure bad policies and slow paced development.
Another stakeholder, Opeyemi Owoeye, called for conscious effort to ensure equity and fairness at all levels of government.
He posited that government is far from the people and calls for deliberate moves to bridge the gap. He proposed special intervention agencies, like TETFUND and PTF, in all critical sectors of the economy.
He called for constitutional provision to arrest the ‘winners-take-all’ syndrome in Nigerian politics.
The leaders of thought lamented that Kogi State is been neglected by the Federal Government. They decried the dearth of federal presence in the state.
The National Secretary of Okun Development Association, Benjamin Abereoran, decried the state of Ajaokuta Steel Company. He wondered if the steel company would have been abandoned by successive governments if it was located in regions considered to be majority tribes in Nigeria.
The former House of Assembly Speaker queried the abandoned dredging of River Niger with proposed ports in Lokoja, Baro and Idah.
Representative of Ebira Peoples Assembly (EPA), Ahmed Imtiaz also lamented the inability of government to complete the Ajaokuta steel complex and called for improved governance at all levels.
Leaders of JNI and CAN commended the religion adherents in the state for living the harmonious relationship in Kogi. They called on government and politicians to embrace politics of truth and peace.
The religious leaders, however, agreed that the state of the nation calls for concern.
Representatives of women groups argued that the prevalent poverty in the land calls for concerted effort to empower women folks.
They called for stiffer penalties for rape, child labour and other gender based violence.