The Labour Party (LP) has knocked the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, for claiming that the security situation in the nation had improved.
Recall that while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu, Ribadu had claimed that the record of crimes and activities of criminals are going down and that it will continue to go down.
But in a statement by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the Labour Party described the NSA’s comments as hasty.
Ifoh stated that insecurity has worsened, urging Ribadu and other security chiefs to hit the ground running to neutralize terrorism and restore sanity to the nation.
The statement read: “The leadership of the Labour Party is pleased with the security meeting held Monday involving President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, the service chiefs and the Acting Inspector General of Police. Though the real reason behind the meeting was not made public but the NSA did say that they are going to work tirelessly to ensure that they accomplish the objective of securing our country and will establish peace and stability. He further pledged that it was time for Nigerians to get their lives back.
“However, the NSA was quick to suggest that the ‘calm” situation in Nigeria presently implies that security in Nigeria has improved in the last one year under the present government. He further adumbrated that the record of crimes and activities of criminals are going down, and that it will continue to go down.
“The Labour party thinks that the assertion made by the NSA was done in haste as the situation on ground still suggests otherwise. Insecurity is still surging. Last Friday, no less than five persons were killed and 11 others injured after suspected terrorists fired a rocket-propelled grenade at Dambia town in Borno State. That same day, worshippers were reportedly attacked in Ogun state leaving behind the pentecostal pastor dead while seven worshippers were kidnapped. Scores of lives have been lost in Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states to the bandits in some cases over unpaid levies while hundreds were either injured or kidnapped. There has been an increasing rate of armed robbery, kidnapping and other forms of crimes in the South East, South-South and across the nation. It is therefore a worrisome development for anyone to begin to politicize the security situation in Nigeria. Nigeria is unsafe today and we think we should not pretend about it.
“Labour Party has no doubt about the capacity and capability of the new security chiefs particularly the NSA who has distinguished himself in the past as a corruption fighter but we think that Nigerians deserve action more than beautiful speeches and rhetorics as witnessed in the last administration. While that administration continued to blow its trumpet on how it had reduced insecurity or technically degraded terrorist activities, the rate of killings and kidnapping in the country was horrifying and had continued unabated. According to a Nigeria Security Incidents Tracker report by Beacon Consulting, a security firm, a total of 12,426 persons were abducted in Nigeria between January 1, 2021, and May 2, 2023.
“Labour Party would want to remind the security chiefs about some celebrated abductions that are still unresolved. More than 80 out of 264 Chibok school girls abducted since April 14, 2014, have spent over 9 years in captivity. Leah Sharibu and many others are still in the forest yet to be rescued. Nigerians would not be in a hurry to forget the March 2022 terror attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train that led to several deaths, while 60 passengers were abducted.
“All these have continued despite huge budgetary allocations appropriated for security purposes. In January 2023, the Buhari regime revealed that over $1bn had been spent on the acquisition of weapons from the United States and other countries in the fight against insurgency since it assumed office in 2015. Even with the huge spending, things are not getting better. Part of the reason is the fact that kidnapping has become a booming business. A whooping sum of N13.662bn was reportedly paid as ransom to kidnappers in Nigeria within a period of 11 years, a figure which covered from June 2011 to July 11, 2022. Also, about N653.7m was paid as ransom in Nigeria between July 2021 and June 2022 for the release of captives.
“This is why the Labour Party supports the present administration’s assurance that tackling insecurity would be a priority. The government actually does not have an option because the primary responsibility of the government is to ensure the security of lives and property. In fact, it is the right of every citizen as stated in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution to enjoy security of life and property. Succinctly put, Section 14 states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government.
“Buhari-led APC government failed woefully in the area of providing security and we urge you to rise above the primordial interest as was in the last government and work to push the insecurity backwards. Nigerians want to see in practical terms a departure from the old administration and the benefit of its huge investment in the security system. Only a secured nation can attract the much needed investments to Nigeria.”