By Chinelo Obogo
As political activities towards the 2023 election gears up, analysts believe that going forward, many Nigerians would prefer to vote for an individual instead of parties.
A security expert, Dr. Adejare Adegbenro, explained that the days when voters supported political parties blindly are over and that now, people will prefer voting for an individual they know is competent, irrespective of the political party the person belongs to. He also said he is confident that the National Assembly will pass the bill which would enable NATFORCE, a security outfit, begin operations
What are your expectations from President Muhammadu Buhari between now and 2023 when he will leave office?
Let me start from the security challenges confronting the country. To be factual, President Buhari has given his best in the fight against insecurity in the country. He has adequately funded the battle against those causing security breaches across Nigeria and I think the service chiefs are also doing their best, including the National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of Security Service (DSS) and Police. So, I believe we should support them. In addition, I think we should have a community based policing system so that anybody who suspects suspicious movements in the vicinity can report to the police.
We have different purchasing power for secret equipment that should be bought strictly with the instruction of the president so that nobody should know what we have. If the enemies know what we are buying or what we intend to buy, they would be in a position to counter you and would have an upper hand. I believe that if all of us have to stay safe, we must be vigilant.
What is your view on the high rate of borrowing by the Federal Government?
The Ministry of Finance is only borrowing money to make Nigerian defence stronger. The issue is that Nigerians themselves need to stop being lazy. They should find what they can do to assist the Federal Government. We are too dependent on the Federal Government in this country which should not be so. We should start exporting goods, vegetables, farm products, agriculture produce and other different types of goods that we Nigerians have ability to do. We should emphasise that we should also chip in by helping Nigerians to create what they have been creating for export and that would bring dollar that has gone haywire down.
Again, all assets that were seized by Customs, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the ICPC and the court has given the government judgment on should be sold immediately. It is an open fact that vehicles which are seized and not sold would start depreciating by every single day. You see many of such vehicles in the bushes, you see them in the ports and some of their components like brain boxes are already being destroyed by rats.
For instance, the Custom has well over 50,000 vehicles as at my last count and they are doing nothing about it. The Customs Director-General has to be asked why they are not selling all those cars? Let government officials buy if you don’t want to sell to the man on the street. It is about boosting the economy because this is money that is being wasted. Selling and disposing them would reduce the borrowing spree we are experiencing now.
What is your view on how the 2023 elections will play out?
From what I see, it is not going to be political party based. It is going to be individual based, but on the ability and competence of individuals in the society because people are tired of voting for parties. I want the president to let the election be free and fair, so the votes of the people to count. Nigerians should vet whoever will contest and make sure they are voting for the right person that would convince the people that he would make an impact on the life of the citizenry positively.
On this note, I advise the youth that they should come out en masse and vote because their participation matters. They should vote and make themselves also available to be voted for. It is time we got Nigeria straight. I don’t want to leave Nigeria because Nigeria is my country.
The good thing about Nigeria is that the Muslims, Christians and others are praying too for the good of the country. We have good things for us if we put our hands together without tribal and ethnic considerations. As I always say, I have a slogan that says, ‘I am a Nigerian and my tribe comes second.’ That is what we are. We are not supposed to be talking of breaking up or anything like that. We just have to put our hands together and stop being selfish. Don’t let us balkanise Nigeria. We are all Nigerians and whatever happens would affect every Nigerian.
So, I am advising the president to come out and put his hand firm on a lot of all of these things because if there is anybody in his cabinet that is not doing well and has not been creative, he should sack him or her immediately. As far as I am concerned, he has all their profiles and immediately he realises that some of them are not doing well, he should just sack them without further delay.
What is your organisation doing as regards the security challenges and the rate of unemployment?
Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons (NATFORCE) is going to cover and fill the gap of employment and illegal importation of small arms and ammunition and chemical weapons because the outfit has the capacity to employ over 270,000 and that would solve a lot of Nigerians’ problem. The income generation of NATFORCE would go into the Federal Government’s coffers. These are things that I believe could move Nigeria forward. Also, it is there to complement Nigeria’s security agency’s which has are about 1.1m people to protect over 200m Nigerians.
I want all Nigerians to be trained. We need to teach our children because you see, it is what they take from us, learn from us that they are going to take on board. We need to go back to the traditional institutions how Nigeria was, how was the race in our days? It is a pity that children of nowadays are not trained and cultured like us. We have to really come together and tackle this problem.
When would NATFORCE begin operations?
As a law abiding organisation, we are waiting for the passage of the Bill put before the National Assembly for endorsement that would give us the legal backing to operate. Presently, the bill has scaled the second reading and is moving to the third reading which is the last.
We commend the National Assembly for their understanding on the importance of the bill for the NATFORCE. That is the reason we are appealing to the National Assembly to expedite action on the bill so that the benefits therein for Nigerians would not be jeopardised.
NATFORCE is out to really assist President Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against all forms of security challenges and his desire to make jobs available to the teeming youth of Nigeria, The benefits accruable to the country from the organisation, if given green light to operate, are very significant and indeed enormous.
On a final note, I wish the President, the Federal Government and the good handlers steer Nigeria’s ship into 2023 and hand over power to the right person.
The post Nigerians’ll vote for individuals not parties in 2023 –Adegbenro appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.