17 July 2012

Nigeria: Corruption Within Govt Caused Insecurity - Northern Forum

Northern delegates attending the 19th international convention of the Northern Peoples Frontiers called The Zumunta Inc in the United states, have declared that the poor security state of Nigeria is as a result of corruption within the government.

They also attributed insecurity in the country to illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, religious intolerance, ethnic rivalry, suspicion and mistrust.

In a communique made available to LEADERSHIP on Tuesday morning by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Mrs Lami Dogonyaro, the Northern delegates said that it is impossible to fight insecurity, if the issue of corruption at all levels of government and among the citizenry is not tackled.

"Government must confront corruption without any reservations. Government must lead the way by cleaning up its own house starting from the very top of the leadership. The issue of salary/wages and allowances of all political office holders must be drastically slashed to reflect a level playing ground for all stakeholders in the polity. Nigerian politicians are on record as the highest paid public servants on planet Earth" they added.

The Northern delegates urged that the recommendations of the various committees set up by federal and state governments from the past several years for security issues, must be revisited and implemented, stressing that the government must leave no stone unturned to ensure that justice is meted on all parties implicated and found guilty of any wrongdoing.

"There has been several calls for a national dialogue/conference on peace, conflict resolution, but has not yet been initiated by the government to enable Nigerians sit and address the problems that confronts the nation. Government must initiate such national dialogue as soon as possible" they also said.

They also urged the federal government to ensure that the infiltration of foreign elements into the Northern region are contained, noting that these elements have been accused of raiding and creating havoc in several communities by spreading terror amongst the diverse groups of the region.

Urging the federal government to urgently make concerted efforts to fish out the foreign elements and deport them immediately, the Northern delegates recommended that Nigeria's borders be better manned and safeguarded to disable these elements from infiltrating the nation easily.

They also recommended that a constitutional role for traditional rulers is identified and established to be part accountable and responsible for all visitors and citizens in their domain.

According to the communique "The target for security forces must be professionalism. Our security operatives must be trained to be loyal, first to the nation and to put aside ethnic and religious tendencies. Capacity and enhancement building must be done to provide the security operatives with the skills and equipment to handle the security challenges facing the country effectively. Government must provide a better welfare compensation packet for the security forces to enable them carry out their functions efficiently"

"No single prominent northern leader has demonstrated the passion needed by the country in condemning publicly and loudly, the sudden perennial atrocities and tragedies seen lately in our great nation. People of Northern Nigeria must push for a common front and advocate for peace. The phenomenon of "Boko Haram" must be confronted. The question of whether the terrorist group has a religious agenda must be answered. When ascertained either way, all stakeholders must discuss and agree on what next to do by confronting this endemic problem with a united front, irrespective of religious, political, and/ or ethnic inclinations" the communique also reads.

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