Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, said Nigerian people are campaigning on ethnic agenda because the Nigerian state does not make an impact on the lives of individuals.
He maintained that the government has also failed to present itself as the government of the people describing the situation as a recipe for chaos.
Falae who stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, maintained that the major factor Nigerians should consider in choosing their next president is competence and should not be based on ethnic or religious agenda.
According to him, ethnic divisions persist in Nigeria not because the cultures and customs of the people are predisposed to ethnic strife, but as a result of a weak state which is not capable of capitalising on policies that enhance the benefit of a singular Nigerian national identity.
He said “this is inevitable when you have a government that does not present itself as the government of the people. If a government presents itself to be a champion of a section of the people, naturally the other elements in the country will defend themselves and will have to take care of themselves.
“My view might sound simplistic that Nigeria is not a difficult country to govern because I have spent time in government, if we have a government or President who shows genuinely that he is for all Nigerians and shows that he cared for all Nigerians, they will worship him.
“Muritala came in as military Head of State and in six months we venerated him. He showed that he was not for the Hausa, Yoruba or Fulani but for Nigerians. That’s what we need, somebody that will know that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic religious, very complex country, so you cannot afford to be sectional, that is a recipe for chaos.”
He stressed that “We need a government that knows and act in perception that Nigeria belongs to all of us and that if he doesn’t please all Nigerians, he’s destroying the country.
“That’s what Nigerians want, a fair-minded leader and it doesn’t matter where he comes from. After all, whoever becomes the President must come from a particular family, one particular tribe or town.
“What he needs to do is to know that there are other Nigerians who have equal claim to the Nigeria patrimony and if he acts accordingly, Nigerians will hail him.
“It’s not a difficult thing to do but unfortunately most of the people who call themselves politicians are die in the wood tribalists who are not exposed”
Expressing concern about the conduct of the 2023 general election with the escalating security situation across the country, Falae said the escalating security situation might affect the conduct and result of the election, saying the outcome may not be credible.
The former SGF said “I pray that the terrorists will allow the election to take place. A few days ago they burnt down the INEC office somewhere in the southeast, they have been doing that for a long time, so we hope the election will even be possible.
“If elections take place at all I hope that the outcome will be acceptable and credible because if during voting, shooting takes place the outcome may not be credible.
“So all in all I am hoping that we will be able to have elections that will be credible and I am praying that in that case the Lord Almighty will intervene and pick a government that can lead Nigeria out of the crisis in which we are. Nigeria is tottering precariously on the edge of a precipice.
While speaking on the need for state police, Falae said “In my view, security is a local matter and what I mean by that is that every community should mobilise its own people for its own security.
“Every village, every hamlet should mobilise its own people to defend itself. The police will do their work, and the DSS will also do what they can do but every community must have its own security.
“In my community, I am the community head and we have our own Vigilante and they have the instruction to comb all the surrounding forest, if they see any strange person they should arrest him and bring him to the police station.
“Every community should do that so that when every village is secured, Nigeria is secured. Let the police do what they can do but the individual community, family and town should arrange its security.”
He said “Security does not necessarily mean shooting, a critical part of security is prevention, information, monitoring and intelligence. Before terrorists can strike a community they must have been mobilised and hanging around for some time.
“So your people must be vigilant and continuously monitor the environment and if they noticed anything strange they go after it and of course if they attack, I have the right to self-defence and if anybody attacks me.
“I will attack him with whatever I have but I will not be the first to attack anybody but if you attack me I will attack you because self-preservation is the first order of creation but the most part is surveillance, intelligence, monitoring the environment and keep strange elements out of the area, that is the core of intelligence.”
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2023 campaigns are ethnic-based… 2023 campaigns are ethnic-based… 2023 campaigns are ethnic-based…