From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 polls and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has lamented the rising rate of insecurity in Nigeria.

He also expressed deep pain over the increasing rate of poverty across the federation, saying that the horrible situation was evidence of poor leadership in the country.

Okowa spoke in Awka, Anambra State capital during the 11th Zik Lecture Series held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. It was themed ‘Nigeria in the Throes of Insecurity towards 2023: Any Panacea?’

“The security situation in Nigeria is a hydra-headed monster that has undermined public safety and threatened the coexistence of Nigeria as one united, indivisible country.

“The surge in mass kidnappings for ransom, insurgency, farmers/herders conflicts, ritual killings, even separatists’ agitations and other acts of terrorism is to say the least, very frightening.

“With the advance in technology, terrorists have become even more sophisticated in their operations, using advanced technologies such as drones, GPS systems and even encrypted messaging services to spread propaganda and recruit others into their network.

“The global terrorism index for 2022 lists Nigeria as the 6th most terrorised country in the world. The Nigerian security tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States, reported that 5,222 lives were lost to the activities of violent non-state actors between January and June 2022.

“Although we have dropped out of the top 20, Nigeria still ranks number 21 on the list of most dangerous countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index 2022”, he stated.

The governor, who was chairman of the occasion, lamented that the widening gap between the poor and the rich has reached a frightening point, saying that the ugly situation was responsible for the insecurity in the country.

“There’s no doubt that the widespread poverty in our country has fuelled the fire of the protracted security crises. Experts agree that there is a strong correlation between increased terrorism and inequality and inequitable distribution of wealth.

“The widening gulf between the rich and the poor in our country is alarming. Equally alarming is the poverty rate which stood at 40 percent in 2021 and it’s believed to be around 45 percent in 2022 which translates to about 90 million citizens living below poverty line.

“This has led to the disenchantment and feeling of alienation among our teaming youth population leading to rise in cyber crimes, kidnappings and ritual killings and other violent acts that undermine public safety”, Okowa lamented.

Guest Lecturer at the event, Chief Mike Ozekhome, spoke on the need for peace and security. He, however, advised those touting that Nigeria’s unity was not negotiable to have a rethink.

He told the “non-negotiable” message purveyors to dissipate more energy preaching justice and fairness as doing so would strengthen the foundation of unity.

“We must be careful not to think that Nigeria is simply indissoluble and indivisible without doing those things that should keep our indissolubility and indivisibility together”, he warned.

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Source: news