A former National Security Adviser and retired Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Gambo-Jimeta, has said that Nigeria was at the risk of implosion if the leadership continues to truncate the aspirations of the people for good governance.
Gambo-Jimeta who said this at the National Summit on security challenges in Nigeria organised by the police and Vanguard Newspapers in Abuja yesterday, said the strangulation of the aspirations of the people by certain organs of government could lead to an implosion, if nothing was done.
“If that happens, then God save Nigeria, God save Africa because we are talking of 170 million people being dispersed,” he said.
He also said the militant Boko Haram sect was the consequence of bad administration, describing the problem as self-inflicted.
He accused successive administrations of neglecting the institutions that ensured the protection and well-being of the nation.
According to him, the colonial administration had its priorities clear and provided adequate funding for security forces, infrastructure and other institutions that ensured the well-being of the country.
Noting that “It is the way we view our priorities that is responsible for the security challenges now confronting the nation”, the former IGP said, adding that “that is why we are now spending billions of naira on what would have been done over time naturally.”
The former IGP said this was the consequence of bad administration that permeated national life for a long time and was not restricted to any particular regime.
He specifically said it was objectionable for the activities of Boko Haram to be attributed to the fact that a Christian is at the helm of affairs in the country, arguing that General Yakubu Gowon, a Christian, ruled the nation for nine years and there were no such deadly attacks.
Gambo-Jimeta also said that Obasanjo, another Christian, ruled the nation twice and nothing of such happened, and as such, it would be wrong to attribute the Boko Haram menace to opposition against the leadership of Nigeria by a Christian.
“Things are going wrong, poverty is everywhere. When you travel from Lagos to Kano, people are living in basic conditions, no water, no security; criminals are well armed, the government functionaries are well guarded while ordinary Nigerians are left to the mercies of criminals. There is a disconnect between the people and the government,” he said, adding that when people are poor and hopeless, they resort to lawlessness.
While challenging the Federal Government to reorder its priorities, Gambo-Jimeta said, “Let Nigeria for once put our priorities right, build a robust defence system, build a robust internal security system.”
He also paid special tribute to men and officers of the armed forces, the police and other security operatives that had died in the course of duty and those that are sent into harm’s way daily without being properly kitted.
He said: “Yet some people still say that they are not doing enough. What other sacrifice is greater than laying down your life?”
The former IG called for a strong judiciary as well as justice and respect for the people, to avoid a breakdown of the society.
President Goodluck Jonathan in his remarks said the time had come to address the security crisis facing the nation, adding that the setting up of a presidential committee on police reform was part of initiatives to build police capacity, address deficiencies observed in the recruitment and operations of the force.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade, said the nation would remain secure under his administration.
“Federal Government will support efforts to professionalise the police,” he stated, just as he acknowledged Vanguard Newspapers’ partnership with the police.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar stated that the summit was convened to enable critical stakeholders brainstorm on the ways out of the current security quagmire.
He expressed conviction that the event would furnish government with solutions that would end the security threat to the peaceful co-existence in the country, noting that the citizenry had paid dearly individually and collectively for insecurity.