The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-south Zonal Working Committee, has called on governors in the region to join forces with various security agencies to tackle insecurity in the region.
The national vice chairman of the party in the region, Dan Orbih, made the call on Tuesday in Benin when he led the Zonal National Committee on a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Mr Orbih said the growing insecurity in the region was worrisome. He said the region has lost many innocent men and women in the past few years.
“A situation where people can no longer go to their farms is a signal for impending food crisis.
“We call on the governors and leaders of the South-south to come together and protect our people.
“The Yoruba have taken steps to check the menace of these groups with the formation of Amotekun, the Igbo have theirs Ebubeagu security network.
“What are we doing in the south South-south?
“We must fashion out ways in collaboration with various security agencies to check the unprovoked assault on our people.
“Our people are distressed. The federal roads are in bad shapes and unsafe.
“Last week Senator Cliff Odia was attacked twice on the same day by different groups on his way from Edo to Abuja.
“We enjoin you to join forces with those calling for state and community policing to complement the present structure.”
The PDP South-south leader urged governors in the region not to relent on the demand for state police.
He also called on the federal government to stop borrowing money to fund “corruption”.
“Lack of accountability in the NDDC has affected development in the zone. It has eroded trust and promotes unemployment and criminality among the youth.
“A hungry man is an angry man. The federal government must stop playing politics with NDDC.
“The rising poverty index and lack of employment are now major problems in our zone.
“On the whole, I make bold to state that the current security problem confronting us is a threat to democracy.
“We urge you to use your second term in office to put in place development and achievements that will make future elections easier for our party in the state and the zone,” he said.
He disclosed that the zonal committee members were in the state as part of their official tour of the zone to commend and applaud the “good works” the PDP governors were doing and to ask them to do more.
He, however, noted that they were embarking on the tour at a very difficult and challenging time in the nation’s history.
“The issues confronting us today are so serious that COVID-19 pandemic that has challenged the world is dwarfed by domestic problems facing us,” Mr Orbih added.
‘The security structure in Nigeria has expired’ – Obaseki
In his response, Mr Obaseki urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country amid the challenges facing the country but work collectively to ensure a better Nigeria.
Mr Obaseki identified insecurity as one of the country’s biggest challenges, and blamed mismanagement of the nation’s economy for the worrisome trend.
“We should not lose hope in Nigeria but focus on how to create confidence to give our people hope by managing the country well.
“The challenges of insecurity just show the dysfunctionality of our federal system.
“We run a federation, we have three tiers of government – federal, state and local governments. Why should security be exclusive to the federal level?
“What happened to the other two? Until we address that structural imbalance, we are not going to be able to deal with security at its core.”
The governor said the concentration of the resources at the the centre would not help Nigeria.
“In the South-south, we must stand up to defend ourselves economically, politically and security-wise.
“The security structure that we have in Nigeria has expired. We need a new security arrangement. The system that we operated till now is not tenable,” he said.
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