Security experts and other well-meaning Nigerians have highlighted tolerance and peaceful co-existence as panacea for national development and the way out of security challenges currently ravaging the country. The call was made at the 4th annual public lecture of the BAT Communications Company, with the theme: “Security Challenges and Implications on National Development,” which was held in Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday.
In his opening remark, the Editor-in-Chief of Integrityreporters Newspaper, Mr. Adewale Oguniran said the problem of insecurity in Nigeria is not peculiar to one geo-political zone, as the challenge could be seen in the socio-economic and political lives of the citizens in the six geo-political zones of the country. His words: ‘Today is an occasion for us to once again take a look at one of the problems confronting our dear nation -the ugly situation of insecurity, which has been kicking us back and forth in the past few years. This is the best time for us to discuss ‘Security Challenge and Implication on National Development.’
In his lecture, former chairman of Police Equipment Foundation, Chief Kenny Martins, said no country could have national development when the security structures are retarded. He added that some of the things that led the country to its current quagmire are ethnic and religious intolerance. He disclosed that Nigerians individually and collectively spend over N1trillion annually to provide security for themselves and their property, saying that no nation would develop on its own without external interventions because investments thrive in atmosphere of peace and tolerance.“With the current state of insecurity in our country, we are losing a lot economically, and investors are scared to come in and invest.
There is no other way to end the menace of insecurity in the country except we create jobs for our teeming unemployed youths, and we can only achieve this when we revive our moribund factories/ industries across the country. “The state actors must be blamed for the high rate of insecurity in the country today. The moment government at all levels starts seeing insecurity as a challenge to their power, the problem will die naturally,” he said. On her part, founder of Bulwark Intelligence, Tanwa Ashiru, stated that to achieve the desired national development goals, “we need to get serious with our education. Conflict arises when people feel they are marginalised and their grievance is not being addressed or taken into consideration.”