Fayemi Calls for “Marshall” Plan to Resolve Nigeria’s Security Challenges

Fayemi Calls for “Marshall” Plan to Resolve Nigeria’s Security Challenges

Arrest proliferation of weapons and small arms. Warns about youth restiveness “EndSars the tip of the iceberg”. Urge massive investment in agriculture sector. Wants girl-children educated to Senior Secondary School level before marriage. Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called for a Marshall plan to tackle Nigeria’s security challenges noting that the Nigerian structure,

Arrest proliferation of weapons and small arms.
Warns about youth restiveness “EndSars the tip of the iceberg”.
Urge massive investment in agriculture sector.
Wants girl-children educated to Senior Secondary School level before marriage.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called for a Marshall plan to tackle Nigeria’s security challenges noting that the Nigerian structure, as presently constituted, cannot deliver peace and unity for the country.

The Marshall plan which he said should not be “tokenistic” but comprehensive enough to address all issues fuelling insecurity in the country. He listed some other ancillary issues to be addressed by the Marshall plan to include the proliferation of weapons; long unprotected borders; growing concerns about drugs; climate change triggered farmers/herders clashes and maritime insecurity.

“There is a need to renegotiate our constitution. Our security structure, as presently constituted cannot deliver peace and unity. It only breeds local resentment to the Federal Government which in spite of its endless and determined effort to end insecurity remains unappreciated because of the inability of the security structure to promptly respond to threats before they go out of hands.

Governor Fayemi spoke at the 7th Babatunde Oduyoye annual birthday series where he was the Guest Speaker. The theme of his paper was Security and National Unity in Difficult Times. The event held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan on Tuesday. The occasion was chaired by former Senate President Adolphus Wabara.

Calling for unity of all political actors to defeat the “evil merchants” the Governor warned that that the situation we are in now does allow for scoring of political points. Nigeria needs to have a conversation on many issues. Is our security architecture adequate to confront the problem we have, “we need to recruit more people to join our police force as we are far from the recommended numbers”

“Nigeria should think out of the box and seek creative ways to fill the voids”. He suggested the use of NYSC as a short term recruitment drive noting that many countries of the world make serving in the military mandatory for a short period and sighted the example of Israel.

Governor Fayemi also canvassed for more investment in the agriculture sector as a way of engaging the massive youth population who are unemployed and idle. The consequences of not engaging the youth productively could bring future disaster warning that the last EndSars demonstration be the tip of the iceberg “ We need to pay attention to the music the young people are playing to avoid future disaster”.

“We need more attention to be given to the girl-child”. He advocated for a policy that will make it compulsory for girl-children to enjoy free and compulsory education up to Senior Secondary School level before getting married. He said this has several advantages and will benefit the country on the long run.

Dr. Fayemi urged the political class to close ranks and fashion a new way of playing politics without recourse to ethnic and religious sentiments. He said political elites need to have a consensus on minimum irreducible standards of acceptable public conduct.

The Governor commended Hon Babatunde Oduyoye, a former two-term member of the House of Representatives and current Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Affairs to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for organizing the lecture series, stating that it is a worthwhile way to contribute to national discourse and described him as “a good man”.

Former Oyo State Governor Senator Rashidi Ladoja also spoke about the youth restiveness in the country and said that our well-trained and very qualified youth are relocating to other countries due to the twin-problem of insecurity and the parlous state of the economy. He said the spiraling inflation is causing tension in different homes and family unity is now being threatened. He said the Naira has deteriorated rapidly such that hitherto weaker currencies are now stronger than the Naira.

He warned of unintended consequences if these issues are not addressed urgently. He towed Governor Fayemi’s line of thought that the last EndSars riots may be a child’s play compared to what is to come if these problems that have increased the population of young people in the labour market are not addressed urgently.

In his speech at the occasion, Governor Seyi Makinde, dwelt more on his encounters with Hon Oduyoye whom he described as a unifier: “Babs is a Unifier”. He buttressed his position with the array of guests that have come to attend his birthday lecture “we have people from APC, PDP, aggrieved PDP, Afenifere and so on” that tells you the type of person he is.

He said as his Adviser Hon Oduyoye is always nudging me “to talk to this and meet this or that person”, but since he doesn’t like talking and talking all the time, he has saddled him with the responsibility to do the talking and give him his report. He also narrated Oduyoye’s efforts and contributions towards his election in 2019 and ended his speech saying “if Hon Babatunde Oduyoye, makes any commitment, he will follow through”

Earlier, in his welcome address, Hon Oduyoye said the idea of the lecture started during his tenure as a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2007 with the objective of stimulating public discourse on issues of national importance. He said the fact that he shares his birthday with Nigeria (October 1) deepens his faith and commitment towards contributing his quota and seeking ways to make the country better.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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