Friday 17 May 2013

Activist to Nigerians: demand security, good governance

Nigerians have been urged to demand security of lives and property as well as good governance.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Dr Chidi Odinkalu, made the call during a two-day summit on security and governance challenges in the Southeast, held in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
He attributed the growing security challenges across the country to inept leadership.
Odinkalu asked Nigerians to rise and insist on qualitative leadership that will guarantee the protection of lives and property.
The activist noted that the inability of the government to provide employment for the teeming youths has fuelled criminality in not only in the Southeast but across the country.
He said: “In Nigeria, we are not only faced with the threats of terrorism but also serious issues of human right abuses in our homes and offices, which often spills over into the larger society.
“The time has come for the people to rise and demand for good governance and improved security, which, of course, is their right”.
Presenting a paper at the summit organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ford Foundation, Dr. Ukoha Ukiwo of the University of Port Harcourt, blamed insecurity in the Southeast on the increasing number of Ndigbo who were displaced in the cities as a result of urban renewal and safety city programme.
He said as a result of the demolition of homes and business places of most Igbo youths in major cities, the population of displaced persons who were forced to return to the Southeast increased with its attendant consequences.
Also speaking, the regional representative of the Ford Foundation, Innocent Chukwumah, noted that the huge decline in the socio-economic development in the zone was largely responsible for the current security situation.
Chukwuma said the traditional self-help development efforts of the Igbo should be complemented by the government for good governance to thrive.
He urged the participants to come up with a declaration on how to rescue the zone from the claws of criminals.


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