From IKENNA EMEWU and KEMI YESUFU, Abuja
The nation seems to be at a very bad point now that prominent citizens and elders who had been quiet about the scary security situation are now talking. It was a harvest of lamentations and condemnations for the bad turn things have taken in the country especially in security. The venue of the discourse is the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
At the 50th birthday celebration of the Publisher of the Leadership newspaper, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah yesterday, sounds of despondence, hopelessness and failed expectations rang loud as the former Defence Minister, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, declared openly that the nation had become another Somalia. He said: “The Somalianization of Nigeria nation is taking place right now. And for those of us from the North, I say it here that the North is on fire. Let us tell ourselves the truth and stop deceiving ourselves, the Chief Security Officer of every state is the governor, but I ask all of us here, where are the governors of the northern states that the region keeps burning and nothing seems to be done.
The North has failed just like the entire nation. “Borno State as an instance has failed completely. Jigawa State has failed also and worst of all, Kano of all places is about to fail. So, where exactly are we going? We hear and see multi-million naira fences erected around Government Houses, but what about the citizens? Where is their security”, he asked. In his speech, former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, General Jeremiah Useni, also wondered what the government is doing about the high rate of insecurity and asked why Boko Haram targets and attacks the common and vulnerable citizens and spare those that should rightly be their target.
During the major lecture at the event, former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, urged the nation to embrace dialogue and discuss how the nation is to exist. He argued that we have pretended for too long that there is no problem in the country and should accept the fact today and find a way of sorting out the differences in a dialogue that would be encompassing. Prof. Abdulahi also recounted that Nigeria’s problem, which is political and economic, worsened in the 1980s when the naira was devalued when, according to him, we had no product to sell to the outer world.
In his speech, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, lambasted the Federal Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for destroying Nigeria. Tinubu said the nation is at its worst point and never had it so bad in her entire history. “We are sinking in insecurity, hopelessness, fear, poverty, corruption and despondency and the PDP government is not doing anything about it. PDP has destroyed the nation and has failed also to confront the problem and that has exposed us to reaping the same common poverty, fear, death, unsafe society and lack of hope for tomorrow.”
As the Asiwaju was addressing the gathering, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, entered the hall, and Tinubu looked at him and joked: “Honourable Speaker, I have seen your shirt and your attire, so of all the diseases in Nigeria, this is the one you chose to tackle.” Tambuwal spotted a T-.shirt bearing the name and emblem of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), indicating he had been at the labour rally to mark the May Day. The remark of the former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, took a different dimension as he blamed the problems weighing down the nation on the erosion of the concept of shame.
He also took a swipe at Tinubu and cautioned him against blaming every problem of the nation on the inadequacies of PDP. He challenged him that there is no single political party in Nigeria that is better than the other or clean of the fault of destroying the nation. Nda-Isaiah’s birthday had a long list of dignitaries including a former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Danjuma Goje, former Governors Adamu Mu’azu, Ibrahim Shekarau, Segun Osoba, Malam Maitama Sule, among others.
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I THINK WE CAN HEAR THE UP-RIGHT LEADER, THAT SAYS THE TRUE SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY. HE DID NOT DECEIVE PEOPLE LIKE OBASANJO AND HIS FOLLOWERS. WE HAVE TO DECIDE ON WHAT TO DO RATHER THAN TO COVER PU WHAT IS NOT, WE NOT BLIND AND DEAF. WE NEED TOTAL REVOLUTION.