Human rights activist and lawyer, has Femi Falana, urged Nigerians not to leave the politics of the country in the hands of professional politicians who do not have ideals.
He stated this last Monday in Lagos while speaking during the public presentation of the third edition of ‘Compendium of High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria’, a publication of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, as part of activities marking the World Anti-Corruption Day.
He suggested that beyond the production of the book, Nigerians must begin to ask political questions.
“Do not leave the politics of your country to professional police ticians without ideals; if you leave the politics of your country to corrupt people, you are going to be governed by laws made by corrupt people and that is why they want to silence you from talking, so that you don’t ask question,” he said.
Falana stated that in an extremely poor country, a governor who stole in billions was no longer a case of ordinary corruption but madness, stating that if such money was put together, poverty could be banished from Nigeria.
“We are no longer saying if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us, it is not going to kill us, there is something more fundamental that is going to kill us and that is poverty, we must begin to interrogate the basis of the crises we are going through,” he added. Project Manag- er, HEDA, in his welcome address, Sina Odugbemi, said “the compendium highlights some things we all should know, the delay in the judicial process.
“Some of the cases have stayed 12 years, and the irony of it is that, if you steal public money and you keep it for 10 years, even if you refund it, that money must have yielded interests.
“So, the idea of the compendium is to remind us, our citizens, that we need to engage the judicial system that makes it easy for the man that steals coconut to go to jail immediately and the one that steals million to stay that long.
Thus, the compendium is a reminder of our duty as citizens to put pressure at the appropriate place and ensure that justice is done and done on time,” he said.
Nyako Blames Politicians For Nation’s Security Challenges
A retired Naval Officer and former senator representing Adamawa Central, Sen. Abdul-Azeez Nyako, says politicians should largely be blamed for the current security challenge in the country rather than the military.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday in Yola, Nyako said the Nigerian military which is currently overstretched is doing its best on the situation and deserved commendation.
He said politicians needed to do more in their expected role of providing good governance, particularly in addressing conflicts in their areas and in tackling key issues like extreme poverty that led to insecurity.
“The bulk of us (politicians) are providing bad leadership; we are only concerned about distribution of resources instead of good leadership or how to resolve issues and get our people out of mess,” Nyako said.
He said if politicians could address the socio-economic challenges that led to Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other violent crimes, over 80 per cent of security challenge in the country would be contained.
He observed that the military had actually degraded Boko Haram insurgents in North East forcing them to resort to guerilla tactics unlike before when they operated in formations.
“What I mean by operating in formation is that they used to muster platoon strength, company strength, battalion strength and probably brigade strength to face our armed forces at the peak of the insurgency.
“They are now degraded and cannot fight in formation; they resorted to guerilla tactics which make things difficult as they are mixed with civilian populace. It’s like fish inside water.
“With this development, the military, government and civilian population have to evolve new tactics to deal with the matter.
“This kind of operation has to be intelligence heavy; there must be communication between civilian population and security agencies. It needs big transfer of information, quick reaction and protection of informants,” he said.
Igbos Must Work Hard To Get Power In 2023 – Tanko Yakasai
The South-East must work hard and convince other parts of the country to accept its candidate for the presidency come 2023, Elder Statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has said.
Yakasai, a former Presidential Liaison Officer and founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), spoke with newsmen after a closed door peace initiative by some eminent Nigerians at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.
He said: “There is no reason to deny the South-East the opportunity to produce the presidential slot in 2023.
“The North, West have had it. It will not make sense to deny the South-East. But then, the Igbos have to work hard for power and convince people because it is a matter of numbers.
“They have to convince the rest of the country to accept whoever they put forward to be accepted”, he said.
He said there was need for mass-based political parties that would be controlled by the masses and not by a few individuals.
“In our days, nobody ever claimed to be the owner of NPN, NCNC, NPP among others. The people must make sure they take ownership of the party.
“I hope the people will try to turn the parties to the masses. The mistake former President Olusegun Obasanjo made to say he was the national leader of a party killed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” he said.
Yakasai said that when ownership of power is controlled by entire members, the internal electoral process would become better.
“In our days, we paid to be members of our party. That way, no one or few persons can control the party. The beginning has a bearing on the process.
“Political parties must find a solution to do away with issues that will make the people sceptical”, he said
On the “Amotekun” security outfit floated by governors of the South-West, Yakasai said arming the outfit was his major concern.
“If Amotekun is allowed, soon it may spill over to other regions and may become out of control when other regions come up with armed security outfits that may lead to uncontrollable situation in the country.
“Every Nigerian is interested in Nigerian project. Every Nigerian is benefitting from Nigeria as a nation,” Yakasai said.
C’River Rerun Poll: Imoke Congratulates Egbona, Etta
Former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, has congratulated Dr Alex Egbonna and Dr Davis Etta for emerging winners of the re-run elections for Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency and Abi State Constituency respectively.
Egbonna is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Etta is of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Imoke in a statement personally signed by him and issued yesterday, said with the elections over, it was time for all to unite for the common good of the people of the federal constituency where he comes from.
While acknowledging that depsite the tension during the preparation for the polls, he was happy that the election was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.
He commended both the politicians and electorate “for the maturity exhibited through this election season.
“Now that elections are over and I believe the better politicians won, we must all sheath our swords and unite for our common good.
“We must condemn and abhor the denegration and abuse of leaders and the perpetuation of divisive tendencies. Abi/Yakurr and indeed Cross River State, can only grow if we give our representatives the requisite support.
“I also expect that Alex (Egbonna) and Davis (Etta) will provide qualitative representation for the Federal Constituency and the State Constituency, respectively.
“Finally, while acknowledging everyone’s constitutional right to seek redress, I advise that this matter not be pursued any further in the courts. For John Gaul and Iwara, I believe you did your best and I wish you well in your future endeavours,” the statement said.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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