Insecurity: Peace in Nigeria tied to stability in West Africa subregion ― Akpabio
Former Akwa-Ibom State governor and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has attributed the precarious security situation in the country to instability in the West African subregion.
Speaking with journalists at the All Progressives Congress national Secretariat when he paid a visit to the party national secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, Senator Akpabio noted that the ouster of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi had culminated in arms proliferation in the Sahel region.
He maintained that nationals of Chad, Niger Republic and Mali who procure arms openly in their respective countries have since infiltrated Nigeria. He submitted that Nigeria must show more than passing interest in the stability of her neighbours.
He said: “The issues of insecurity for me has already assumed a very worrisome dimension. If you notice, it is not limited to one region, it is not a function of North East, it is not a function of South East, even in the South-South, even in my own local government, and if you read every day what is happening Kogi State and other states, we have never in the history of this nation witnessed where people in uniform are targeted for elimination.
“That will show you that we have infiltrators in our midst. The security of our neighbouring countries must also remain a priority because all these heavy arms entered Nigeria when Libya failed when Muammar Gaddafi was taken out, and people looted the arms.
“If you enter Chad or the Niger Republic, just like you buy Nigerian petrol by the roadside, you can pick up any arm you want, so that has led to very heavy arms entering into the wrong hands.
“In the Niger Delta region, we have been able to contain the situation, with the amnesty programme, and as I speak today, I think that is the most peaceful region today in the country.
“The area is very calm and we intend to keep it as such. So, there are many reasons that people can ascribe to it, if you say oh! youths are unemployed, no! because many of the people that are undertaking the insecurity are not even employable.
“They are not even interested in employment, some of them are on the basis of ideology and all sorts of things. So I think most of them are from outside influence.
“Most of the actions you see today are politically motivated, to try to derail the government but the government will be detailed. And there is nothing that lasts forever, you know that everything that goes up must come down. So the insecurity you are seeing today, you will not see it again.”
The Minister of Niger Delta, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari was doing everything humanly possible to surmount the security situation.
“I think the party can help us to resolve and all hands must be on deck as long as Nigeria is concerned today for us to solve the myriad of problem, including security challenges.
“This is not a time for a blame game. And we also, in my view, I think most of the problems are politically motivated, so we must use our binoculars to be able to look to dictate the sponsors of the insecurity that we are witnessing in the country.
“What is happening now is not Nigeria, this is unNigeria. As far as I’m concerned, right from when I was a kid in Federal Government College, we were taught the unity and oneness of this country.
“Many fought the civil war and died to keep this country together and handed over the country to us. As leaders today, we must do everything possible, even through advice, to make sure that Nigeria remains united.
“I believe in the oneness of Nigeria and I believe that I will bequeath a better Nigeria to my children and the future generations to come. So the party, the APC is going to be the pivot, the fulcrum that will roll that new Nigeria into being.”
Senator Akpanudoedehe who played host to the Niger Delta Minister said he was happy with the visit while he dismissed the insinuation of a cold war between him and his guest for the leadership of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC.
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