OWERRI Former President Goodluck Jonathan has lamented the level of insecurity in Nigeria, describing it as worrisome. This is as he urged all Nigerians to give the Federal Government the needed support and solidarity to win the war against security challenges.
Jonathan voiced his concern, yesterday, when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State in the Government House, Owerri. The former president said Nigerians from all walks of life must close ranks and rally together, if the nation must overcome the challenges of insecurity in the country.
He added that security is a collective responsibility and would always be everybody’s business. Jonathan, who had visited the state primarily to commission a private hospital, American Initiative for Health and Wellness in Africa (AIHWA), said: “The spate of insecurity in the country is worrisome and Nigerians cannot leave the responsibility to government alone.
All stakeholders must take responsibility and partner with the Federal Government to solve the country’s security challenges.” Citing rampant incidents of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery and the likes, Jonathan stressed that insecurity in the country has assumed a worrisome and alarming dimension for which no Nigerian can afford to be indifferent to the disturbing realities on ground.
He, however, noted that “the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic also dealt a huge blow to the Nigerian economy and the way we live as a people. Add that to the issues of insecurity around the country and you will better appreciate the enormous pressure on our economy and society.
“It should, therefore, not come as a surprise to any Nigerian that the economic fortunes of Nigeria took a big hit in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with the nagging security issues.”
Speaking earlier at the inauguration of the health facility, Jonathan called for more proactive collaboration among the different levels of government and the private sector as a means of addressing the development challenges in the country.
Jonathan encouraged the state governor to continue to invest in infrastructure as a means of promoting entrepreneurship and foreign investment. He noted that it was important for the state to improve on its ease-of-doing business record as it would encourage both local and foreign investors to come to the state.
The former President commended Rev. Father Kenny Udumka and members of AIHWA, for the initiative of building a medical facility in the state. He said: “It is always a pleasant development to have the private sector come in to invest in these vital areas of need. “Once again, I commend AIHWA for choosing to invest in the area of primary health. This is the area that caters to the welfare and needs of individuals, families and communities.
“This is an investment in the right direction because of the direct impact it will have on the well-being of not only Imo people, but the entire South-East and South-South. “The wealth of a nation is measured in line with the aggregate well-being of its citizens.
That is why health is prioritized as an important social need alongside others like education, shelter and clothing.” In his remark, Uzodinma stated that Jonathan’s sterling qualities would continue to resonate in the minds of Nigerians. He described the former president as patriotic and statesmanly in every sense of the words.
“With all hands on deck – government and stakeholders – insecurity in the country would be nipped in the bud,” the governor said. Meanwhile, Nigerian refugees who fled to Cameroon due to Boko Haram insurgency began returning to their homeland yesterday in a voluntary repatriation process. Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Nji, said this in Maroua, the chief town of Cameroon’s far north region just before take-off for Nigeria’s Borno State.
The first batch, consisting of 5,000 refugees who spent six years in Cameroon’s Minawao refugee camp, boarded buses as they began the journey. “We have taken all the precautions and all the necessary measures for you to have a safe trip,” Nji said. He said the journey was taking place in strict conformity with COVID-19 measures and announced that Cameroon has provided a “special relief package” for the returnees as they start their new life.
“As a result of the insurgency, the bulk of the town has been destroyed, but in the past year, serious rehabilitation efforts have been ongoing by the Borno State government. “So we are now ready to receive the returnees. “They are going to live in new neighbourhoods,” Lawan Wakilbe, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Borno State said in Maroua on the eve of departure.
More than 57,000 Nigerians, mostly from Borno, have been taking refuge in the Minawao refugee camp, located in Mokolo, the Far North region of Cameroon, according to the United Nations.
However, the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has expressed optimism that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government will resolve all challenges facing the country.
The PGF expressed the confidence in a statement by its Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, while congratulating Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his 64th birthday.
“We join all Nigerians to celebrate this special day with you and your family; we commend your leadership, vision, commitment and loyalty to our nation and to Buhari. “We are confident that we will be able to resolve our national challenges and move our country forward with your dedicated service to our APC-led Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari,” Bagudu said.
He reaffirmed the PGF’s commitment to continue to work with the Federal Government with abiding faith and belief that its initiatives would meet the expectations of Nigerians. The PGF is an umbrella association of serving governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).