From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have proffered possible solution to the insecurity challenge faced across Nigeria.
The stakeholders who spoke intensively on the security issues troubling the nation at a roundtable in Port Harcourt, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Rivers State, stressed the need for leaders to be apolitical in treating the security problems.
In his keynote address, Bobo Sofiri Brown, who spoke on the theme “The Future of Niger Delta in the Current Security Turmoil in Nigeria”, stated that lack of coherent account of what the security situation is in the nation is a serious challenge to solving the problem.
According to Brown who was a former President of NIPR, “the federal government does not have a coherent report on security challenge. It keeps reporting that Boko Haram is the only security threat in the country, hence there are other challenges like cultism, bunkery, militancy and others”.
He further stressed that “unexpected quarters are beginning to hear loud voices from the Governors, Lawmakers, traditional rulers and religious leaders on security threats. These people are part of those who would have spoken when the issue has not gone wide”, adding that insecurity in Nigeria has no level.
Speaking on the recent attack on security formation in Rivers State, Brown commended the state Governor, Nyesom Wike for his effort in speaking out on the security position of the state and nation at large, saying that many governors have continued to shut their voices on the issue.
He advised on the need for the Niger Delta leadership to improve on commerce economy than concentrate only on crude oil exploitation, adding that “we need to talk about the future that will introduce us to improve the Rivers State and Niger Delta economy.”
He said “the politics of neglect and exploitation has brought in the height of insecurity faced in the nation today”.
In his opening remarks, the state chairman of the NIPR, Paulinus Nsirim, explained that “as a social entity we felt the need to bring stakeholders to a roundtable to begin to proffer a narrative that will be a total solution to a nagging issues of insecurity in Nigeria”.
Nsirim who is also the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Rivers State, stated that the Niger Delta is the goose that lays the golden egg Nigeria, hence, without the region the country will collapse. He opted for total security in the region.
He called on the media to beware of the roles they play as watchdogs of the society in security issues. He expressed confident that at the end of the meeting will set agenda for Niger Delta and the Nigeria at large in security matters.
On his part, Prof Godwin Okon, a lecturer with the Department of Mass Communication, Rivers State University, called for support of government in the fight against insecurity.
Okon noted community management as possible solution it the insecurity challenge, adding that “we must have integration of technology because we can no longer fight security using the antics of yesterday.”