… Advises FG to Revisit 2014 Confab Recommendations
The Munene of Efut kingdom in Calabar, Cross River state, Munene Effiong Okokon Mbukpa VI1, has thumped up Gov Ben Ayade on areas of timely payment of salaries as well as security, saying deployment of Homeland Security outfit across Calabar metropolis was helping in significantly reducing cases of crimes, kidnappings, cult clashes and armed robbery.
In a chat with our reporter, the Monarch called on the federal government to borrow a leaf from what the Governor was doing by ensuring States suffering from severe security challenges were adequately manned.
He saw the ongoing endorsements of the Governor as having great impact on the polity and eventual outcome of the guber elections in 2019, and congratulated Ayade over projects which he believed would benefit Cross River people in few years to come.
“The government of Ayade has tried in paying salaries and I doff my cap for him. His programmes and projects are gradually coming to what people are seeing in concrete terms, that is besides numerous political appointments,” he said, but advised the Governor to do something about alleged multiple taxations which is driving businesses like Leventis Stores, Pepsi and other companies across the State, out of the State.
Expressing disappointment over the abduction of students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State last Monday as well as incessant killings by herdsmen across the country, the Efut Monarch posited that the federal government has failed Nigerians in the area of security of lives and property and that revisiting the 2014 national conference reports as well as restructuring were possible solutions through which the country could come out of the doldrums.
According to him, the abduction of school girls for the second time within four years was an indication that the security architecture of the country was grossly ineffective, saying, “I think that the government has failed on security. The buck ends on Mr President’s table and this development is very worrisome.
“The security agencies were expected to have learnt a lesson after the abduction of Chibok school girls; they were expected to beef up their intelligence network, compare and share notes but unfortunately they are always caught napping at very critical times such as this.
“I blame the military extensively and the federal government for both the killings by herdsmen and the abduction of innocent school girls. There should have been military presence in all schools in the northeast considering their peculiar security challenges.
“I agree with the federal government that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. It is true that they do not have any known territory that they operate from as in the recent past but they are still there. The insurgents are now into unconventional warfare, they hit and escape. They do not have a standing army that can stand to confront our military. I give government kudos for this but they should do more. The bloodshed is becoming unbearable.
“The one that disturbs me most is the herdsmen clash all over the country, the worst hit being Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and even Enugu, Ondo and other spots in the South. The police have capacity to handle that matter if civilians themselves could cooperate by giving information and if adequate resources are made available for both personnel and weaponry.”
On the plans by the federal government to create cattle colony in all the States to stop the killings by herdsmen, Munene Mbukpa said “the federal government cannot, on its own, take people’s land just like that. No government owns land, land generally belongs to the people, the governor of each state is only a custodian.”
“The land use act says if government is to take land for overriding public interest, government must pay compensation, that is, it must be with the owner’s consent, not by coercion, I do not see the colony issue really working out except in situation where the governor says he has land to give out.”
On how best to bring to an end such hydra-headed challenges, the Monarch simply said, “restructure Nigeria, again I say, please, restructure Nigeria and this will stop the killings and other monster waiting to unleash mayhem on the country.”
“Implement relevant part of the recommendation of the 2014 national conference. The report has areas which can help in repositioning this country. I am convinced the calibre of personalities who came up with those recommendation are some of the best brains we have and their efforts, their vision, the resources spent should not be a waste,” the Monarch submitted.