by Baron Eloagu,
Nigeria’s South-Western Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has asked the Federal Government to tackle the deteriorating insecurity in the country or forget 2023 elections.
Speaking during an interview on a television program on Tuesday, Akeredolu warned that the 2023 general elections might be threatened if the insecurity situation worsens.
He condemned Saturday’s attack on Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, and wondered why governors would be the target of attack.
While describing the attack as unfortunate, Akeredolu echoed Ortom’s remarks, noting that Nigerians should be worried if banditry activities reach its full-scale.
“I think he (Ortom) is right, definitely we cannot conduct election under an insecure environment. So if insecurity is not nipped in the bud, it will escalate and if it escalates, all of us should be worried that as at the time we are getting to 2023, we might have a full-scale banditry and other insecurity in the country,” he said.
“With that, there is nobody that can carry out any election under that atmosphere. What is clear is that he has made a good point that the Federal Government must sit up.
“Something just has to be done now to ensure that this issue of insecurity that is escalating by the day is now nipped in the bud and deescalated as soon as possible.”
Regarding the numerous security: the country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
Governor Akeredolu renewed his earlier call for the creation of state police, that the setting up of the policy structure at regional levels would complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
He added, “There must be a swift response to all this level of insecurity. For now, since there is nothing else to do, those of us who believe that there should be multi-level policing and the time has come for us to have state police, it is not something you can force down.
“It is something that will have to go through the National Assembly. It takes some time but that is the goal. But before then, I believe that we can have meetings, set up committees on insecurity. Let it be addressed wholesomely without any bias.”