The American ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, declared yesterday that the betrayal of people by governments and the low level of government presence provided criminals and terrorists a platform to launch insurrection being witnessed across northern Nigeria.
“Whenever and wherever a population feels its government is not providing an adequate quality of life it becomes complacent to criminals whether they are vandals or terrorists,” the ambassador said in a paper entitled “Leadership, Good Governance and Generative Cities as a Pre-requisite for National Development,” he delivered at a public lecture organised by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos.
Mr. McCulley remarked that, contrary to the dominant notion in the media that the US government believes poverty causes terrorism, the actual cause of terrorism was failure of governments to provide the needs of citizens.
He saw similarities between New York in the 1980s and northern Nigeria today, noting that there was a common feeling of betrayal by their governments who had failed to provide for the needs of citizens such as good schools and adequate infrastructure.
Ambassador McCulley called on the federal government to be more pro-active in providing infrastructural development in the north as a means of tackling the Boko Haram problem and reiterated US government’s support for the improvement of schools, health programmes and infrastructure in northern Nigeria as part of a comprehensive approach to challenges posed by the Boko Haram sect.
On his part, the acting vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahman Ade-Bello, thanked the US government for the support offered to staff and students of the university for fellowships and academic exchanges from organisations and foundations across the length and breadth of United States of America.
The VC appealed to eminent personalities that witnessed the occasion to avail themselves of the diverse skills and competences of researchers available at the university, noting that the institution is open to progressive collaborations.
NSA decries press coverage
The national security adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has expressed displeasure at the press coverage of his activities so far and cautioned journalists to be very careful in what they report.
The NSA, who paid a courtesy visit to Kano State governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso yesterday in continuation of his tour said, “My experience with the press so far has not been a very good one.”
According to him, journalists record what he says but when they leave they try to translate what he said and, in the process, the meaning is lost.
“Some of the things I said are not necessarily reflected and what I didn’t say is reported as having been said,” he stated as he rebuffed journalists seeking to interview him.
During the visit, the NSA said he was in Kano to share experiences of states facing security challenges and come up with ways to handle the challenges. He remarked that, as a major economic hub, the peace of Kano should not be disrupted because it will have repercussions across Nigeria and the sub-region.
Responding, the state governor, Engineer Kwankwaso assured the NSA that the government and people of the state would give him all the necessary support and cooperation to enable him succeed.
He said the state government was working with members of the public to ensure that peace and normalcy returned to the state.
He commended the various security agencies in the state for their commitment to enhancing security in the state.
IGP meets stakeholders in Kaduna, says police battle ready
Acting inspector general of police (IGP) Muhammed Abubakar yesterday held an interactive session with relevant stakeholders in Kaduna and discussed the ways of combating crisis and provision of adequate security for the state, while expressing police’s readiness to combat acts of terrorism across the country.
While addressing the stakeholders, which cut across religious, traditional and other relevant organisations in a meeting that lasted hours, he stressed that, if all the relevant stakeholders would collaborate and partner with the security agencies, Nigeria would get out of the situation sooner than expected.
The IGP further stressed that without peace and security, there cannot be development. He said that ensuring peace should be the collective effort of all. Even if all the police and soldiers are drafted to Kaduna State, without the collaboration and partnership from the community, nothing can be achieved,” he added.
On alleged police corruption on the roads, he warned that the transporters particularly the drivers, should stop corrupting the police by attempting to bribe them when an offence is committed. “Stop corrupting the police. Don’t give them money because we will soon start arresting those who give bribe to police,” he said.
He, however, lamented the lawlessness and unruly attitudes on the part of some drivers, adding that some drivers need to be sent to school to get more driving training.
Earlier, the state chairman of Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Ja’afaru Makarfi, attributed the insecurity bedevilling the country to the lack of justice and corruption. Until and unless these issues are properly addressed, “we will be chasing shadows,” he said.
Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, represented by its legal adviser, Mr. Ben Churchill, decried indiscriminate arrest of persons most of whom have no connection whatsoever to the crisis whenever there is any crisis situation in the state.
The IGP, who paid a courtesy visit to Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, said, “I am in Kaduna to re-asses and re-evaluate the security situation in the state in view of the present challenges facing this country, not only Kaduna State.”
While urging the federal, state and local governments to ensure the provision of job opportunities to the teeming youths, the acting IGP stressed that “we must be able to pay attention to youth unemployment.”
“The mission and vision of this present police management is to build a friendly police force – a police force that would protect Nigerians, a police force that would not harass and molest any Nigerian, a police force that would help the needy and would assist the aged and would assist all those who are in need at the time of their need,” he said.