A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Kwara State, Mohammed Dele Belgore, SAN, has said that the Boko Haram insurgency is a national headache which requires “the support and collaboration of everyone to defeat in good time”.
Citing the increasing success Nigeria has recorded in the national campaign to halt the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Belgore called on the federal and state governments – including those outside the Boko Haram-ravaged northeastern region – to collaborate in the fight against the terror group.
Belgore, a governorship hopeful under the PDP platform, spoke in Ilorin on Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014, at the official inauguration of the Jonathan Actualisation Movement. His keynote address was titled ‘Security Challenges, Peace and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.’
“When there is collaboration, problems are better addressed and solved. A good example is the current struggle against the Ebola Virus Disease that has unfortunately been dumped on us,” Belgore said, cautioning that the Boko Haram crisis “cannot be solved by the President or federal governments alone.”
“The collaboration between the Lagos State and the Federal Governments has helped tremendously to curb what would have been a major national calamity. There have been no finger pointing, personal insults or abuses of any kind. The two parties have worked closely together and are now winning the battle.
“There is a big lesson for us all in this (as we combat the Boko Haram menace). That lesson is that if we work together we can overcome all the security challenges we currently have.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria meanwhile called on the governments to also address the “main causes of insecurity” which he listed to include “youth idleness due to mass unemployment, lack of hope for a better tomorrow, religious fanaticism, desperation, ignorance, exploitation, misguidance, indiscipline, poor leadership and societal influence.”
Belgore said governments must come off the thinking that giving N20,000-a-month-job to a few thousand youths would ebb their restiveness.
“We have to provide our youths with gainful employment that will keep them away from all antisocial activities. Employing a few thousands youths and paying them a stipend like N20,000 per month is not it. There needs to be a massive job creation to employ millions of people,” he added.
“Both the federal and state governments need to work together on the creation of our own equivalent of the ‘Marshal Plan’ that was established in Europe after the second World War to put the millions of people back to work.”
He urged governments to be tough on crimes and perpetrators of crimes failing which a culture of crime and impunity would be entrenched in national consciousness.
Belgore added: “We shouldn’t just be tough on Boko Haram and their likes, on cultism, kidnapping and urban violence, we should dig deep and be tough on the causes of such crimes. This is not to suggest that there is any valid justification for those crimes (there isn’t), but we should critically examine societal problems that make young men and women easy preys to such crimes – issues of unemployment, falling moral standards, declining parental responsibility and decaying educational system among others.
“Addressing the crime without addressing their possible root causes would merely be scratching the problem on the face. It would not make for a lasting solution.”