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Date Published: 04/28/09


By Emmanuel Onwubiko


Nigerians are confronted by two fundamental problems namely the threats posed by dare-devil, well armed kidnappers and the seemingly inept leadership style of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Of these twin problems one can easily be changed and the other has to be frontally battled before the nation can overcome it. The problem that can easily be positively transformed for the betterment of us all is the seemingly inept leadership style of our President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua either by himself or by Nigerians through legal means of vote-of-no-confidence at the 2011 Presidential election, that is if the electoral system is changed such that the popular will of the electorate will be reflected in the election results to be announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission during the election of 2011 or if he [President Umaru Musa Yar’adua] truly wants to serve Nigerians democratically for another tenure after his first tumultuous and uneventful tenure in 2011, then he has between now and next year to demonstrate his practical resolve to give Nigeria and Nigerians, effective, result-oriented and transparent, accountable leadership style which are the hallmarks of Good Governance. The President must work with the organized civil society and other patriotic Nigerians who are truly determined to lift Nigeria out of her current status in the international community as a near-failed State. Abiodun Adeniyi my professional colleague who just bagged a Doctorate Degree in International Communication from the prestigious University of Leeds, United Kingdom, the same school attended by our own Professor Wole Soyinka, believes that President Umaru Musa Yar’adua has the capacity to transform Nigeria for the better. Before coming to the second problem confronting Nigerians and Nigeria which is KIDNAPPING, let me fully exhaust the topic of how the current federal administration can change the fortune of Nigerians and guarantee maximum security, welfare and well-being of citizens and global citizens resident in Nigeria because the provision of security of lives and property of Nigerians is the most fundamental principle of state policy as enshrined in the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

The current Federal administration must immediately reorganize the Nigeria Police for greater efficiency and effectiveness in crime detection, prevention and fight. The hierarchy of the Nigeria police ought to be led by a competent, well qualified and battle ready Inspector General of Police who is ready and willing to implement result-oriented and Human Rights compliant crime fighting mechanisms to rescue Nigeria from the threat of annihilation posed by several well organized gangs of crime syndicates- armed robbers, pen robbers that is those political office holders who have become adept at looting the public treasury and have effectively worked out modalities for evading arrest and prosecution by the various law enforcement agencies like the Nigeria Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], and the Independent Corrupt Practices and allied offences commission [ICPC]. Similarly, the various police formations across the thirty six states and the federal capital of Abuja must be led by competent and equally well equipped and motivated commissioners of police who will as much as possible remain incorruptible and above the influence of local politics. Secondly, the decision by the Federal ministry of Labour to work out the framework for the legislation of a national policy on social welfare scheme in the country must go beyond the usual pattern of mere sloganeering and inauguration of committees made up essentially of the same old persons that are largely responsible for the impoverishment of Nigerians through their incompetent and corrupt styles while they were in Government. Adetokunbo Kayode, a lawyer, should appreciate the universal fact that the best social policy that any Government can implement so as to pragmatically and practically solve the developmental challenges confronting Nigeria and Nigerians is the enforcement of the provisions enshrined in Chapter Two of 1999 constitution. All that this Government should do is to mount pressure on the National Assembly to amend relevant sections of the extant constitution to make these good Provisions in Chapter two of the constitution legally enforceable. Most Nigerians are of the view that setting up another national committee to work out a national social welfare policy will amount to waste of public funds in pursuit of unrealistic goal. It is a fact that unemployment is a major problem in Nigeria and the fundamental cause of this terrible social problem is the failure of Nigeria’s social infrastructure of Electricity power. How do we explain to members of the international community that Nigeria’s textile industry has collapsed largely due to the lack of political will on the part of the political leadership to implement policies that will protect the local textile industry and promote greater patronage of the end products of these local textile mills by Nigerians and foreigners alike? The current administration must revive the textile industry in Nigeria as the first necessary step for revamping Nigeria’s rapidly collapsing economy and to provide the much needed enabling environment for the creation of employment opportunities for Nigerians. The next critical economic problem that needs to be tackled is the declining productivity of the nation’s agricultural industry due largely to a combination of factors like lack of basic infrastructure of electricity power, good roads, good storage facilities and the needed land reforms, micro-credit schemes that will empower the rural farmers to mechanize and expand their agricultural activities because a nation that cannot feed her increasingly large army of hungry citizens has failed in its fundamental duty of food security and is simply sitting on a time bomb which will inevitably explode in no distant time. How can we effectively manage a revolution to be staged by say forty million hungry and unemployed Nigerians if these set of Nigerians decide to take their destiny in their hands and rally round to demand equity and social justice? The World Bank recently told us that forty million Nigerians are unemployed and if for the purpose of drawing a workable inference, if this forty million Nigerians decide to say enough is enough and stream out massively on the streets of Nigeria to demand that decent jobs be provided for them by all relevant stakeholders, I am sure that the entire army of the world cannot defeat them. This Government must therefore tackle this hydra headed monster before we are all consumed. If these and several other problems are tackled, then kidnapping will be successfully resolved.

+EMANUEL ONWUBIKO heads Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria.

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