Reporter: Progress Godfrey
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has expressed worries over the spate of killings, terrorism and banditry ravaging every part of the country.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the National Chairman of IPAC, Dr Leonard Nzenwa decried the rate of terrorism and maiming by criminal elements that has become the new normal in our beloved country, a country once known for peace.
Dr Nzenwa mentioned that herdsmen are killing farmers, kidnappers invading homes, schools no longer safe for learning, bandits terrorising everyone and terrorists with all sorts of names raiding our villages.
He said, “IPAC is alarmed by the spate of banditry in the North West which assumed grave proportions after the 2015 general election. What started in the Kaduna axis as communal clashes later engulfed the entire State and spread to other States in the zone, particularly Zamfara, Katsina and Kebbi.
“Equally, the North East, North Central, South East, South-South and South-West, are all at the mercy of terrorists, insurgents, bandits, militants, kidnappers, killer herdsmen, and other criminal elements in the society who daily have made life unbearable for us all.
“There is no doubt that this has become a lucrative business by unscrupulous elements in the society who now connive with bandits to carry out their heinous crimes against innocent and law-abiding Nigerians as they are paid billions of Naira as ransoms. We ask security agencies to do more to stop kidnapping more Nigerians.
“More worrisome is, the South-East until now was relatively peaceful but now has been engulfed by sordid security challenges in a deliberate attempt to destabilize a region and make it ungovernable. Ubiquitous unknown gunmen, armed robbers and arsonists are holding the region to its jugular.”
Dr Nzenwa further said that the council is disturbed by the level of suffering in Nigeria,adding that Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources.
“The economy is sluggish, the real sector is epileptic and ultra-high Unemployment. Key economic indicators are slow and businesses are stifled.
“This is a time bomb that needs to be addressed urgently. The factories have to be resuscitated to absorb millions of jobless and hopeless youths that are resorting to crime,” he noted.
He said corruption in the various social safety net programs must be checked to make it work. He urged the government to redesign the social safety programs and direct them to the vulnerable.
The Council, however, condemned the incessant burning of INEC and Nigerian Police facilities in some parts of the country and demand a stop to this arson against the country.
On the upcoming elections, Dr Nzenwa said “the Council calls on INEC to redouble its effort as much is expected from them ahead of the 6th November 2021, Anambra State gubernatorial election which is a litmus test for ahead of Ekiti and Osun Gubernatorial Electronics 2022 as we approach the 2023 general election for which the Commission created new polling units to fast track voting processes in the State, and across the nation.
The Council also reaffirmed its opposition to the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari as a National Commissioner in INEC.
Dr Nzenwa said her appointment will undermine the independence and neutrality of the Commission as Onochie is a card-carrying member of a political party.
IPAC commended President Buhari for directing remit allocation directly to the Local government which is closer to the people.