Security experts and other well-meaning Nigerians have called for tolerance and peaceful co-existence as panacea to national development and the insecurity challenges currently ravaging the country.
They made the call yesterday at fourth annual public lecture of BAT Communications, publishers of Integrityreporters Newspaper, which held in Ikeja, Lagos.
In his opening remark, the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Mr. Adewale Oguniran, said the problem of insecurity in Nigeria was not peculiar to one geo-political zone, as the challenge could be seen in the six geo-political zones of the country, which had continued to affect the socio-economic and political lives of the citizens.
“Today is an occasion for us to once again take a look at one of the problems confronting our dear nation —the ugly situation of insecurity, which has been battling us back and front in the past few years. This is the best time for us to discuss ‘Security Challenge and Implication on National Development.”
In his lecture, Dr. Kenny Martins, said no country could have national development when the security structures weere retarded. H added that one of the things that led the country to the current quagmire was ethnic and religious intolerance.
“Our founding fathers, including Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, were very conscious of the ethnic makeup of our Federal Republic, as well as the diversity in the religious belief. Their solution was to pursue the policy of unity in diversity and they were able to avert major catastrophes until the matter was taken out of their hands by coups and counter coups from January 1966.”
He stated further that no nation develops on its own without external interventions.
He added that investors only make investment if peace and tolerance thrive.
“With the current state of insecurity in our country, we are losing a lot economically, and investors are scared to come in and invest. There is no other way to end the menace of insecurity in the country except we create jobs for our teaming unemployed youths, and we can only achieve this when we revive our moribund factories/industries across the country.
“The state actors must be blamed for the high rate of insecurity in the country today. The moment government at all levels start seeing insecurity as a challenge to their power, the problem will die naturally.
On her part, founder of Bulwark Intelligence, Tanwa Ashiru, stated that to achieve the desired national development goals, “we need to get serious with our education. Conflict arises when people feel they are marginalised and their grievance is not being addressed or taken into consideration