Ifeanyi Aigbedion, Convenor, Unity Advocacy Group (UAG) tells CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN that this is time for Nigerians to rally round the new service chiefs.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari effected changes in the security structure in the country.
The changes came after several calls were made for removal of the old service chiefs citing the spate of insecurity in the country.
As the security situation degenerated, Nigerians mounted calls on the president to do something urgently, saying there was need to infuse new strategies in tackling the crisis.
Presently, the country is emeshed in an embarrassing insecurity crisis ranging from herders/farmers/community clashes, bandits in the north-west, Boko Haram/ISWAP in the North-East, crude oil theft in the Niger-Delta, kidnapping across the country etc.
Speaking to The AUTHORITY, Ifeanyi Aigbedion, Convenor, Unity Advocacy Group noted that the reshufflement brings hope that soon terrorism, a string of kidnappings, and instability will reduce drastically.
“I want to say there is hope in the horizon. The former chiefs have done their best. Let us support the Major-General LEO Irabor team now. The new chiefs are equal to the task.
“Don’t forget that the new CDS and COAS have been to the centre of the whole crisis. They know what to do
“Already, there is a close knitted effort and renewed collaboration among the different security agencies.
“Remember that today, Monday, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, heads of federal law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies will start visiting geo-political zones to hold town hall meetings with state governors, traditional and religious leaders, members of the Legislature, non-governmental, youth and women organisations.
“The meetings should have been initiated long ago. Now they are leaving the comfort of their offices to get on the spot assessment of security situation, generate local feedback and recommendations, encourage geopolitical synchronisation of effort among states, as well as create a pathway to lasting peace and security.
He added “Immediately after the appointments, the first place of call is the North-East, the epicentre of the crisis. It shows the zeal to do something urgently
Aigbedion said that the task of quelling the raging insecurity lies with all citizens.
“It is a fact that the people are disenchanted, but as a people we must not give up. They have the support of Mr President. We just need to support them. Whatever information and role we need to play, we just have to do it well.
“This is not time for divisive statements, opinions or stand. You must make a stand for unity and progress. When crisis spreads, you don’t know where it will end or who will be victim.
According to him “the economy is already suffering. Homes are becoming disjointed. Crisis has no friend, no good side. We are all partaking in the fallout’s of the insecurity. You can’t confidently travel on some roads in Nigeria, every day we hear of kidnapping, bandits strike etc. Do you know who will be the next? It could be any of us or our relatives!
“When you throw a stone on the market, you don’t know who it will hit. It is unfortunate some are eager for crisis to envelope the country. The outside world is waiting to see how we resolve our issues, some of them want to sell arms. Can we fathom a refugee crisis in Nigeria?
“The new CDS has promised to add value to the security disposition, I beg Nigerians to give them opportunity to work and resolve the issues. Like I said earlier, they have the support of the president.
He also challenged the media houses to give Nigerians a hopeful angle of the ongoing crisis across the country.
“In most Western nation’s, national interest is a consideration in war reportage. I beg the media to do the needful at this very crucial time in the history of our nation.
“No one is saying you shouldn’t do your job, but we must ensure we do things that will unite rather than divide us.
He makes a call for Nigerians to also support military personnel who are making sacrifice for the country.
“Some of them have been out of their homes, far from their beloved ones just to secure us. The last thing we should be doing now is discouraging them.
“Our military are going through tough times for the sake of the country. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the country. We must support them.
“We must agree that the military has performed above average in the fight against insurgency.
“I urge all patriotic citizens to rally round the military for the overall good of the nation.
He said the Unity Advocacy Group will continue to support the military and appealed to Nigerians to thread on some route.
“UAG is all about unity of Nigeria. We want peace to reign so we can thrive economically, socially and otherwise.
“UAG knows that without peace, progress will be retarded.”