The Consultative Assembly of Arise Nigeria (UK) has expressed optimism that the menace of insecurity in Nigeria will soon become a thing of the past.
The group also lauded the efforts by the president and other security chiefs towards national peace and stability of the country.
Arise Nigeria, UK made this known after a tentative review of the governance under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (May 29 to January 31st, 2020); current tensions generated by insecurities.
The body also passed a Vote of confidence in Mr. President stimulated by prospects of analytical economic growth parameters on Nigeria and efforts towards national peace, stability and cohesion.
This was contained in a communiqué jointly singed by Dr. Stanley Ojua, Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee, Arthur Chukwuemeka Jnr, Secretary and Rosemary Olarewaju, Member at the end of the meeting.
The communiqué reads below.
The Arise Nigeria, United Kingdom (UK) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in the United Kingdom. It is an assemblage of Nigerians in diaspora from diverse persuasions’ including professions, technocrats, bureaucrats’, politicians and international businessmen and women resident in the United Kingdom.
Arise Nigeria (UK) functions as a platform for members to meticulously engage in impartial, robust economic analyses, assess development paradigms, and ginger mutual interactions among members of the group. It is centered on issues of leadership, governance and development as it affects our home country, Nigeria.
It is an intellectual and analytical think-tank of Nigerians in Diaspora who after consideration and painstaking deliberations national matters, offer interventions, suggestions and recommendations. This is done periodically after the interspace of six months.
However, the regularity of our assemblage in-whole is naturally and expectedly disrupted at this season by the activities of end of year and the New Year festivities, usually marked by vacations, holidays and travels by a massive number of members. It is a reality further made complex by Nigeria’s 2019 general elections and the installation of new sets of democratic leaders at all tiers of government in the fifth civilian to civilian democratic transition of Nigeria since 1999.
Despite the scenario painted above, Arise Nigeria, UK recently met in the United Kingdom under the convergence auspices of a consultative symposium, comprising eminent personalities, which is by all yardstick, is a fair representation of the full House.
The deliberations focused on some recurrent/subsisting vital and sensitive national issues. These matters, enumerated above have been the concerns of Nigerians, as President Muhammadu Buhari navigates ambitiously into the #NextLevel of his administration, having spent the first six months of his second term in office.
We also analyzed the tensions generated by resurgent insecurities around the country; the fierce interplay of bipartisan forces and the ensuing heat and tensions deposited on the polity. After deliberations, the Arise Nigeria, UK observed, recommended and adopted some resolutions, elucidated as follows;
(a) At the inception of the first tenure of President Buhari, the government was confronted with a myriad of teething national problems, which gravely threatened, national cohesion, unity, peace and progress.
These multiple challenges ranged from a very weak or recessed economy; high youth unemployment; deficit social infrastructures; the bungled privatization in unbundling of the power sector, leading to poor electricity generation and distribution; high inflation; drastic drop in crude oil exploration in the Niger Delta; unstable prices of crude oil in the international market, pervasive and endemic corruption in the system.
Nigeria was also mired in hyperbolic and multi-dimension insecurity threats, like Militancy in the Niger Delta; Boko Haram threats/insurgency in the Northeast; armed banditry in the Northwest; restiveness from separatists’ agitation movements, herdsmen/farmers clashes and internal armed conflicts from a retinue of other national challenges.
In the past four years, the President Buhari administration has either vanquished or ameliorated some of these problems/challenges or stagnated or which have formed the bedrock of current problems in the country. It is regrettable that some of these malaises have shown faint shadows in Mr. President’s the second term, much as the positives have also shadowed.
Arise Nigeria, UK , observed a resilient character in the re-emergence of some of these problems especially completely surmounting the challenges posed by armed criminalities in Nigeria by this administration.
Of particular note, Boko Harm/ Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorism; herdsmen mercenary killings, armed banditry, kidnapping, widespread armed robbery and sundry other hi-tech-crimes have continued to sporadically disrupt the peace and security of our people, in permeating continuous social and; public disorder in Nigeria.
Arise Nigeria, UK also examined the efforts and progress (preceding and present) by the administration of President Buhari in overcoming these national malaises. It has concentrated energy and enormous national resources to extinguish all manner of insecurity threats in the country, et ceteral.
The future of Nigeria, as a country is secured for prosperity. Nigeria’s external reserves today (2019) stands at US$42.5 billion from US$23 billion in October 2016. These are reflective of favourable changes.
Excitingly too, extra measures have been taken to avoid pitfalls of the past on delays in budget preparations and implementation. We have seen the timely signing of the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10. 594 trillion into Law, on December 17, 2019 before the beginning of another fiscal year. And a back-up law, Finance Act on January 13,2020, to support its expeditious implementation. These are plausible signals of good planning for optimum results.
On insecurities, the FGN has also taken steps to intensify security for the lives and property of all Nigerians irrespective of wherever they reside in the country. The armories of the Nigerian military have been constantly replenished.
In the past three years, domestically built armoured vehicles and surveillance equipment. Mid -January 2020, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar admitted collecting two helicopter gunships for the Nigerian Air Force to battle terrorism and other insurgencies.
The 12 Tucano fighter jets ordered from America will arrive the shores of Nigeria in 2020 or latest, early 2021. There is actually massive weaponry restocking of the Nigerian Military generally to counter threats of insecurities such as the delivery of South African Paramount Marauder vehicles etc.
Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) has formally commissioned in January 2020, prototype 4×4 armoured personnel carrier and mine roller gear and assorted other types, which requires only N1. Billion ($2.7 million) to mass produce within the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Kaduna state and similar military schools of artilleries in the country have been resuscitated and functional. These are manufacturing various small and light ammunitions to assist the military combat Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism in Nigeria.
Surely, these are signposts of reinvigorated Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies to tackle subsisting and emerging insecurities in the country. The Government is conscious of the urgency in quenching the fires of insurgency and other security threats.
The anti-graft agencies have continued to pursue their mandate of checkmating assorted financial crimes in Nigeria. The Special Courts Bill being contemplated are some of the measures. Therefore, the 2019 Corruption Perception Index rating of Nigeria by Transparency Interventional (TI) is not a true reflection of realities on ground. The TI report is patently false, devoid of substance, but smacks of a rehearsed, influenced or induced and accordingly discountenanced as a nullity.
Thus far, Arise Nigeria, UK endorsed the following recommendations for public consumption and action by the appropriate authorities. It unanimously frowned at acts or extreme combativeness from individuals, particularly politicians and institutional leaders capable of triggering or inflaming passions of hate, discord and disunity which are likely to endanger our collective peace and progress.
Arise Nigeria, UK resolved to appeal to all Nigerians unpacified, aggrieved, dissatisfied and disenchanted with manifestations in the system to eschew bitterness. We urge all aggrieved persons to pray and support our leaders to serve the country better as another New Year begins.
There should be oneness and unity of purpose in our perceptions, interpretation and reactions to issues of national flavor, especially insecurities. Misguided, reckless and sentimental comments on such sensitive matters could aggravate the problem and blur the genuine search for solutions.
Therefore, Arise Nigeria, UK deemed the resolutions of Wednesday, January 29, 2020, by the two chambers of the National Assembly (NASS) as riled by impulsive anger and vexation.
The NASS resolution which urged Mr. President to resign because of failing security in Nigeria and or the campaign for the voluntary retirement of Service and Security Chiefs, or the canvassed sudden sack of all security Heads in Nigeria/ withdrawal of troops from the warfront on account of observable lapses or renewed insecurities in parts of the country was a decision hastily adopted by the leaders of the National Assembly and parliamentarians.
In the interim, while we urge all parties to look inward to take make an in-depth and critical scrutiny of the problems, the resolutions should be revisited, by whatever means possible. We recommended that it should be retouched or possibly, rescinded in order to enthrone a cordial atmosphere to advance a unified common front in thoughts and actions against enemies of the state.
The meeting particularly observed with great concern, the infusion of partisan sentiments in the course of the debates by parliament. We suggested that parliamentarians should be more circumspect in debating and adopting motions bothering on national security matters as done in other climes to avoid actions that would precipitate an implosion in the system.
Consequently, we implore all and sundry, to imbibe or emulate the model of patriotism and selflessness exhibited by parliamentarians of the United Kingdom’s Parliament and or, the American Congress each time issues of national insecurity crops up in the parliament. Every member of parliament supports the national cause, as against his political party logo.
For instance, in the recent debates by American House of Representatives’ to determine whether US would confront the Republic of Iran with war over the escalating tensions and counter-reactions generated by the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in the Middle East, congress placed the American agenda topmost. They added weight to the debate not as Democrats or Republican parliamentarians.
Rep. Max Rose, representing New York’s 11th District from the opposition democrats declared bluntly, that “ I refuse to play politics with questions of war and peace.” Likewise , Rep. Thomas Massie, representing Northern Kentucky district from same Republican party with President Donald Trump declared his opposition to war with Iran thus; “this vote is about exercising our constitutional authority, but more importantly, our moral obligation to decide when and where our troops are going to be asked to give their lives.” In all deliberations, the American spirit was rekindled above partisan lines.
Much more, when in December 2001, the UK Parliament approved the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, after the 9/11 terrorists’ attacks on World Trade Towers and the Pentagon House in faraway America. It permitted the detention without trial of foreigners suspected of terrorism, which infringes on fundamental human rights, and connotes racial undertones, the parliament weighed the larger interest of the United Kingdom.
Arise Nigeria, UK resolved that it was ultra vires and counter-productive to pass a resolution calling for the resignation of the President and sack of Service and Security Chiefs. These could invoke dire consequences of uncontrollable dimensions on the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria.
Rather, NASS should dispassionately explore their powers to ensure review/review and full implementation of Defence budgets, approve special requests by the Nigerian Army like granting approval for Nigerian Army Aviation wing and liaise with the ministry of Budget and National Planning to vacate the Army from the existing budget ceiling or allocations to enhance greater performance in their operations nationwide.
The NASS must look into, cooperate, explore areas of intervention/facilitation of the COAS, Lt.Gen. TY Buratai’s passionate pleas of sourcing for N1 billion ($2.7 million) investment into NAVMC, to build vehicles to combat terrorists and insurgents.
These remain the only antidotes to appropriately empower our military and other securities to deliver excellent results in countering insecurity threats to Nigerians. We therefore, strongly recommend the immediate submission to NASS a supplementary budget by the executive to tackle these concerns so as to reinforce /fortify our security agents with the needed equipment and combat prowess against armed criminals.
Arise Nigeria, UK encourages benign and impartially committed inclinations by Nigerian leaders at all levels when interrogating issues of national security. We objected to the overt resort to the personal prisms of ego-eccentric display of anger and exaggerated misinterpretations of germane concerns by chasing shadows, instead of substance. Arise Nigeria, UK, convincingly passes a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari for his dedication and patriotic zeal/actions in tackling terrorism and insurrections in Nigeria.
We believe in his demonstrated abiding faith to surmount emerging insecurity threats in the country. We have total faith in the competence of Mr. President to address emerging insecurities in Nigeria, as he has repeatedly proven in the past.
Cooperation and support of Mr. President at this critical time is essential to assist him succeed in the war against enemies of Nigeria; but combative confrontations of his leadership is prone to dreary consequences on the polity and the temptation should be resisted. Mr. President remains the on only symbol and weapon the country needs to win the wars-imposed Nigerians and Nigeria by her enemies.
Also importantly, the performances of the serving Service and Security Chiefs so far, in combating the multifaceted insurgencies and insurrections in Nigeria have earned them our vote of confidence. And relevant authorities should take immediate actions towards energizing their operations, inspire courage, motivate the Nigerian military and other security agencies into greater performance to victoriously fight our battles in the trenches.