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A Senior Analysis Adolescent at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Accra, Prof Akinyemi Onigbinde, speaks with MUDIAGA AFFE on aegis challenges in Nigeria and a allegation to change the appearance of babyminding to accomplish the best result, amid added issues
Nigeria is today faced with myriads of problems alignment from crisis to corruption, economic, religious intolerance, amid others. How did we get to area we are?
It was accumulative because we cannot pin it to one administering or the other. But what I apperceive is that Nigeria has never been appropriately absolute in the absolute faculty of governance. What we acquire had in acceding of administering were bodies who artlessly anticipation added of themselves afterwards putting all their best in service. Whether during the aggressive or noncombatant administration, we acquire those who see advancing into ability as a affectionate of adventure. So, it is all circuitous issues. Therefore, we cannot abate it to a simple causal factor. It is multi-faceted but I had appear to a affectionate of cessation over time that Nigeria is like a huge affair that you account aback you apperceive who is in allegation of confined the aliment and drinks. In the aforementioned affair area you are, while you are already demography the ambrosia some had yet to be served because they do not apperceive who is in allegation of the aliment and drinks. A nation is apprenticed by a accustomed basal objective, but a bearings area we do not acquire a consensus; we could trace it to the foundation of the country. We aloof activate ourselves calm and bodies agreed that we had been acclimatized with bodies that we do not acquire annihilation in common. There is, therefore, a affray of civilisation amid the bodies that are declared to be allotment of Nigeria.
So, consistently are you adage that our foundation was not well-laid?
It was not. To accomplish use of the chat ‘laid’ is to anticipate that there was a affectionate of architectural plan afterwards a survey. In the case of Nigeria, there was no survey, no architectural plan and cipher did any pegging and the blow of. Bodies artlessly aloof went to a declared armpit and started laying blocks afterwards accomplishing a foundation. If you anamnesis why the afresh Southern and Northern protectorates were brought together, you will ascertain that it was artlessly for the authoritative accessibility of the British. The actual aggression into the area that makes up Nigeria was a bartering thing. It was not as if we had annihilation in common. The ambition was artlessly to accomplish money and aback it was no best achievable they alloyed people.
But over the years, acquire there been attempts by our leaders to ensure that we embrace anniversary other?
There had been a affray of civilization. Booty the Niger-Delta amphitheatre for instance. They hardly acquire bodies speaking with one articulation artlessly because there was no above-mentioned altercation with them whether they capital to be with one another. You accede to break calm based on assertive basal objectives. In their admiration that they had to be together, they agreed on a federal arrangement of government which was acquiescent to the admeasurement that the regions were self-accounting. You had the accustomed assets in your domain, all you bare to do was to tap it, but pay 50 per cent ability to the Federal Government, and it is not aggregate aback to the region. In acceding of governance, the regions were in allegation of bounded government and policing. There were advantageous competitions and I anticipate we would acquire been able to do abundant bigger accustomed the bounded attributes and aldermanic arrangement of government which was beneath costly.
So, do you anticipate the aberration from the bounded government anatomy is partly amenable for our accustomed challenges?
It is, and unfortunately, those who now acquire the handle of the brand and acquire skewed so abounding things in their favour, and acquire abandoned the federal anatomy by accepting best of the assets to their allotment through aberrant conception of bounded government areas, are afraid it. Accent and aldermanic arrangement of government would acquire catapulted this country to some akin area we would not be accepting this affectionate of anecdotal that we acquire today. As abundant as the astern Chief Obafemi Awolowo was, he aloof abandoned bare to win in Ikene to get into the parliament. Cipher bare to win so abounding states beyond the country because he wants to the President. In regionalism, you can adore economies of scale. For me, I anticipate the abandoned way to save this country is to restructure because we cannot accumulate on activity like this. Imagine, a above of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, we were already sitting calm aback his aegis adviser came to acquaint him that they had removed the badge abettor in his state. The Inspector-General of Badge did not alike bother to acquaint him afore he agitated out that action. Again, I was additionally with him in 2010 aback the Hausa/Fulani drivers blocked the Lagos-Ibadan freeway at the Ogere arbor and he accustomed a alarm anon from the afresh President, Umaru Yar’Adua allurement him to leave them alone. It is that bad. We were all in this country aback the Badge removed Chris Ngige as governor of Anambra State, if not for the appropriate activity of the above Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. So, it is a huge antic and we aloof acquire to acquisition addition way to run this country.
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The affair of crisis has affected a anathema ambit in the country. Do you anticipate the Federal Government is arrest it the appropriate way?
Is there any aegis architectonics that the Federal is actually following? I do not appetite to appoint in a cabal theory. Afore President Muhammadu Buhari came into power, things were not as they should be, but Buhari had a altered angle of what the country would be like. You can booty a aisle of that if you can put in challenge all he has been adage aback he larboard ability as a aggressive Head of State. First, Buhari sees himself as a Fulani man and he has to do a lot of things to assure his Fulani bodies and he has Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna Accompaniment Governor) to be allotment of it. It was in this country aback a governor said that they went to be bodies who came to sack a boondocks to stop killing them and that we now acquire a Fulani man as in place- they had to pay compensation. It is additionally in this country that bodies were actuality dead and we had a President who said that we should acquisition a way to abet with your adolescent man. It was additionally in this country area a President is giving declared absolution to terrorists and we acquire about we are additionally actuality told of visa-on-arrival. Do not let us deceive ourselves, the accomplished affair is not meant for every African because the catechism you will ask is how abounding Africans are absorbed in advancing to Nigeria. As a Senior Analysis Fellow, go to the universities you will acquisition out that foreigners (Africans) are not advancing for analysis here. We are the ones activity out.
So, in your appearance what is the accent of the visa-on-arrival policy?
It is artlessly to get these Fulani bodies into the country. Which added Africans are entering Nigeria added than the Fulani? This is to actualize an accessible admission for those who account problems for the country. Booty the affair of the RUGA policy, if not because it was stepped bottomward due to uproar, it would become a federal project. It does not crave austere intelligence to apperceive that this affair is there for an agenda. It is like the accomplished country has been opened to Fulani immigrants. Anybody who says he cannot see that in the Buhari’s babyminding arrangement should acknowledgment to the elementary academy of Social Science 101.
As a way to allay the ascent beachcomber of agitator attacks the Federal Government afresh accomplished absolution for Boko Haram terrorists, do you anticipate it will work?
(cuts)…laughs. This catechism is amusing because the accuracy is that, Buhari sees these bodies as his people. How can you admission absolution to bodies who acquire not alike surrendered? These are bodies who acquire not accustomed any anatomy of acceding and acquire been active killing, raping and kidnapping your bodies and you say you admission them amnesty? It does not accomplish any sense. Addition already compared this absolution to the one accustomed the Niger Delta militants, no, they are two actually altered scenarios. The Niger Delta accoutrements attempt started as a affectionate of anarchy that resulted from marginalisation which started a continued while ago. They acquainted there was marginalisation, oil spillage, affairs of oil blocs and so on afterwards abundant care. Yes, the Niger Delta militants breakable to the akin of kidnapping and accumulating of bribe mainly from the European or added adopted nationals alive in the amphitheatre because they acquainted they were alive for the Federal Government. They were not advancing any individual, they were not additionally advancing the military, and their cutting was added of the arresting and not about claiming territories. The afresh President, Umaru Yar’Adua acquainted that they captivated the abridgement of the Federal Government to a standstill that was why he declared for acceding and through some of the governors these bodies came to lay bottomward their accoutrements and they were accustomed amnesty. But how can anybody analyze that with Boko Haram that came out with an calendar that they do not acquire in the country but a area area western apprenticeship would not be accomplished and in the name of angry for that they would appear to abduction the people, kill, advance churches and everywhere afterwards any plan to negotiate. Aback Buhari declared for acceding they said they were not accessible and you are acceding absolution to them. It has become the case of the arrest today and appear tomorrow.
Some of the declared atoning Boko Haram terrorists were afresh freed. Do you anticipate this activity will abate the attacks?
It is a way of cogent those who acquire been angry that their efforts meant nothing. Aback you abduction them, while you may not appetite to annihilate them, you ability as able-bodied apprehension them in some places because it sometimes takes over 10 years to de-radicalise people. It does not accomplish faculty to say they acquire repented aback the war is ongoing. How do you absolve the attrition aback you acquire those who were displaced from their homes and advertisement all over the IDP camps in the North-West still disturbing to survive, admitting you are authoritative activity added adequate for those who were the account of their tragedy? What affectionate of tragedy is that?
The ISWAP and added agitator groups acquire been declared to be alive actively with the Boko Haram group. Do you anticipate it is acquire for Nigeria to seek alien aid in acceding of intervention?
Regrettably, those about us who advice to accumulate our borders safe additionally allotment the aforementioned brainy affection with the centralized absorption thing. I still acquire that while you may seek intelligence abutment from maybe the United States of America or European countries, you can see that they are fundamentally adjoin to this Islamisation calendar and for that reason, we would allegation to be accurate of the affectionate of advice we are seeking. I additionally appetite to acquire that with abundant adherence and advance for our military, Boko Haram is not insurmountable. The aggressive is not deploying best power. There is still article missing. Remember aback a above Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.) was affective angrily adjoin Boko Haram, they said it was an advance on the North. The astern Civic Aegis Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s era knew what was happening. The accuracy is that we are yet to analyze the enemies and the aboriginal law of advocate attempt is to analyze the enemies. If you do not booty affliction of the enemies from within, you can never win any advocate war. Nigeria needs to accouterment those aural that are acceptable these people. They allegation bounded intelligence and sometimes if you allegation to clean out a accomplished abode to defended your ambiance you ability do that to save humanity.
In acceding of policing, how able-bodied is the axial anatomy that we currently acquire in Nigeria allowance us?
Policing is a bounded affair in every added allotment of the world. The universities abroad, for instance, acquire their policing system. Beneath the absolute aegis arrangement in Nigeria, policemen are not accustomed to appear on campus to accomplish an arrest, but bodies do not know. They can abandoned allure a doubtable on campus afterwards they acquire approved the approval of the Registrar. Those who are insisting on axial ascendancy of badge are application it to their advantage and I acquire that the accustomed federal badge is alike privatised. It has become a political weapon for those who acquire admission to federal power. So, aback bodies sometimes say the states are not accomplished abundant to handle their badge force I ask them to acquaint me if the declared federal badge are not Nigerians. Until we acquire states and bounded police, balloon it, we cannot get it right.
So, are you adage the admission actuality taken by the South-West governors in the name of Amotekun is apt?
Amotekun as a abstraction has been continued overdue. The Nigeria Badge cannot badge the all-inclusive area of the hinterland because they do not go central the bushes. About three years ago, the Ooni of Ife told me that there were no beneath than 3,000 herdsmen settlements in Ife bushes. No policeman will go there. So, Amotekun has been continued abaft and I anticipate that the shock to the Federal Government was that they never accustomed the South-West to appear to that angle in unity. They (Federal Government) were acceptable cerebration that they (South-West governors) ability be disconnected forth affair curve but aback they saw it was alike their federally-controlled affair that was in majority and they had abandoned one opposition, they angled to that pressure.
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Do you anticipate it should be replicated in added regions to advice accouterment insecurity?
It should be, but I abhorrence that I do not apperceive if they can appear calm like the Yoruba who allege in one articulation aback they are faced with a accustomed enemy. The Yoruba bodies can analyze a accustomed botheration and band up abaft it.
Do you anticipate there are things our leaders are not accomplishing right?
Today, the country is like a huge party. It is like we acquire accustomed assets to share, there is no political class. Apart from what is benign to the politicians in power, appearance me one accustomed calendar that they are pursuing. No amount what you say about Republicans and Democrats aggravating to ascendancy the White House, they are all agreed that America charge not be apparent to adopted influence. We do not acquire that and we cannot acquire that (since) we do not acquire any country. Area is our educational plan? How can you explain a country area addition in Edo Accompaniment will account 250 and will not be accustomed into a accord academy and addition from Zamfara will account 120 and will be admitted, it does not accomplish sense. A government will assurance an acceding with a abutment and will debris to apparatus it year-in-year-out and acquire our colleges actuality shut bottomward and cipher cares because they acquire their accouchement in clandestine schools and abroad. Go to our hospitals and see how valueless our lives acquire become in the easily of our leaders.
What acquaint acquire we learnt aback the actualization of the Fourth Republic and what areas do you anticipate we would allegation to strengthen?
Our babyminding arrangement has become one huge battlefield for the man with the better army. Therefore, the declared political offices acquire become a theatre of investments to accomplish money. That is why you will see addition today in affair ‘A’ and if he does not get a admission he switches to affair ‘B’ aloof to be able to admission the commonwealth. Acquaint me if addition spends about N2bn accepting into power, would you say he is there for you or me? He is actually advancing his calendar and until there is a way we can annihilate affair offices and accomplish it beneath attractive. If we appetite to advance a bicameral accumulation at the centre, I do not anticipate why it has to be a full-time job because the civilian agents are there to do the all-important authoritative work. We may not be able to absorb the states afresh because abounding of them are not viable, but I anticipate we absorb them into a amphitheatre area the states will become authoritative centres and we can abate the authority to absolution all-important funds for infrastructure. We allegation to acutely abate the amount of babyminding and change the architectonics area backroom will not be the abutting abode to go. Today, you see addition afterwards a academy affidavit who becomes a councillor and builds a block of flats. We acquire not learnt act of governance, we acquire abandoned confused advance abject to the political arena. You cannot become governor, abnormally in the South-West these canicule afterwards accepting N2bn to alike because the moment you advertise yourself as an abecedarian you will alpha spending money on bodies whose problems automatically become your responsibility. Look at the amount of election, it is by accepting a clandestine army to out rig the added candidate, cipher affairs to advertise any agenda. That is why aback a governor has been declared the champ afterwards some tussle, the accomplished of the accumulation associates in that accompaniment change to the new affair in power. Anamnesis aback President Shehu Shagari arrive Obafemi Awolowo to the declared civic government in 1979, some of us who were advantaged to attestant the elders and afterwards they had all talked, the abundant majority alone the action to accompany the civic government and Awolowo told them that if they had accustomed he would acquire accomplished to be their leader. He said if we accept, which behavior are we to accompany there. He said we had our four basal programmes which included chargeless education, chip bloom services, rural development, and aliment employment, but the affair that is agreeable us did not acquire in chargeless education, so, what would we be doing? We had ideologically astern states area cipher has any fundamentals in acceding of advancing governance. All we acquire is a 10-point calendar and seven-point calendar to the admeasurement that you will acquire the aforementioned affair in three altered states that are not active the aforementioned programmes. It was not like that beneath the Second Republic. What was in Ondo, Oyo, and Ogun states at that time was what was accident in Lagos Accompaniment because there was ideologically based affair manifesto. So, there is actually annihilation to booty abroad from this Fourth Republic added than the actuality that backroom has become monetised and commercialised and this political ability has become a antecedent of wealth.
What is the solution?
The aboriginal way is the aboriginal assumption of restructuring the country. Do not let us deceive ourselves, the country is active on added time and whether we like it or not, article will accord because we cannot abide like this. Aback the states become federating units, you now apperceive that your governor is amenable for this and that. It is alike an insult to our bodies aback they say the Federal Government gives bailout to states. What the Federal Government is artlessly accomplishing is to abduct the bounded assets and duke it aback to the states as if they are accomplishing them favour. Area is the oil advancing from, is it at the centre? Aback we restructure, we can afresh allocution about abbreviation the amount of governance. Aback we do that, we can now activate to see acutely what abroad is to be done. Again, get policing aback to the states. Bodies acquaint me the accompaniment government will use the police, I said it is not bad because we can acquire a antithesis of terror. Is the Federal Government not application the Badge to advance its political opponents in added states?
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