“The fundamental thing that keeps the country going is security and welfare of the citizens. That’s why our constitution clearly states that the purpose of government is security and welfare of the citizens. You know these two key things are now under threat in Nigeria”, he said.
“At the beginning, it started like a joke, staring from small stealing and all that. That culminated into armed robbery. In the early 70s in this country, you hardly hear of armed robbery. I remember when we were in secondary school. One of the first armed robbers that was executed at the beach in Lagos was Oyenusi; they call him ‘rob and kill’. Over 30,000 people gathered at the beach to watch his execution with his colleagues. The next one that was famous was that of Anini. But other than that, before today, armed robbery was a small crime in Nigeria.
“You see people involved in banditry, kidnapping, and of course, the insurgency that has bedevilled the north-east for the past 11 years now, to the extent that in Maiduguri now, once it’s 5 o’clock, you cannot go in or come out of Maiduguri. From all angles. By 10 o’clock, Maiduguri is shut down. You can’t go anywhere. In fact, this is even an improved situation.
“We hear of kidnapping, banditry, and all sorts of crime these days. The nation is at the brink of collapse. The unfortunate thing is that Nigerians, from top to bottom, still trivialise, tribalise or give the situation religious colouration, and we’re now in this sorry state”.
The lawmaker stated that the current situation is confusing, but added that the solution to the country’s challenges lies with individual determination to bring about the needed change.
“The situation is terrible and whenever there is a forum like this, I think there is the need for us to talk and proffer solutions. I, as a legislator with experience going to 20 years now, I must confess to you that I’m confused. I’m truly confused. The problem in this country is so much today, that the solution to it is only with us.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria is one of the religious countries. So, most of us now resort to God. We say ‘let us pray’, and we see the pastors and imams are thriving. Tomorrow, most of you will flock to churches to raise up your hands and start shouting to God. Well, it’s good.
“I’m a Muslim, a dedicated one, but I believe God will only answer your prayers if you genuinely confess your sins and you truly believe in God and you truly do your own bit. If you do your own bit rightly, then God will help you. But if you just sit there, perpetuate criminality, tribalism and other sentiments, and then you expect God to solve your problem, then, you’re wasting your time,” he further said.
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