The Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, a peace and development Advocating nongovernmental organisation, has applauded President, Muhammadu Buhari for his recent expression of willingness to counter terrorism in the country.
On June 1, 2019, the President pledged to intensity the fight against terrorism in the country, saying that he would host the leaders of Lake Chad Basin Commission on June 12, 2019, in Abuja, at an informal summit to re-strategise on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade described this as very timely, against the backdrop of turbulent, contentious and often violent politics that characterise Nigeria today.
Comrade Mulade said the Boko Haram war in North East Nigeria is almost a decade old, destabilising the people and draining the State finances through unaccounted for security votes.
According to him, the conflict in the Niger Delta has led to the region’s slow economic recovery, destabilizing the lives of the indegenes and other residents.
He said repeated clashes between herdsmen and crop farmers in parts of Nigeria have increased casualties and human displacements in the affected areas. He noted that the resuscitation of Biafran secessionist claims has reinvigorated the national question in popular narratives.
The CEPEJ Coordinator lamented that all of these situations had necessitated the use of security forces including the military, sometimes with counter productive results leading to further violence.
The NGO official warned that the current terrorism and security challenges in Nigeria threaten the country in all fronts, adding that no nation can achieve sustainable socio-economic development in an environment of insecurity.
The peace and development advocate lamented that previous governments had failed in their efforts to build peace towards ensuring socio-economic development. He blamed the failure of government to secure lives and property, as well as its weak business and economic policies, for the wave of resentment and disaffection among ethnic groups.
He said this has resulted in ethnic and communal clashes, and religious violence in parts of the country, destroying lives and property, disrupting economic activities, and regarding growth and development in Nigeria.
Comrade Mulade stated that no local or foreign investors would be attracted to an environment devoid of safety and security, as investors do not only want to make profits, but they also want the safety and security of their lives and property. He said the alarming level of insecurity in Nigeria has made the economy unattractive to investors, thereby impacting negatively on economic growth and development.
He opined that the different regions, states, and ethnic groups might fail to see the long-term benefits of being united due to selfish economic considerations, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to build on existing structures, foster peace and security towards promoting national unity.
Comrade Mulade re-echoed CEPEJ’s call on the Federal Government to collaborate with the private sector, using due process, to prioritize peace and security for the unity of the country.
He emphasized that the measure would stop all violent agitations capable of dividing the country, as groups and individuals would be prevented from raising extra-territorial matters, thereby ensuring a safe and secure society for sustainable social and economic development.