Strategic Intervention Agenda on national security crisis
Protocols and Greetings
The Social Democratic Party, (SDP), is deeply concerned about the worsening security situation across the country, occasioned by unabating reign of terror and actions of insurrectionists, agitators and outright criminals which have crippled economic activities in the country, significantly battered peace and crashed the national social architecture. As this persists, more and more comments, analysis, reactions and counter-reactions pour in and the damages to the national foundations continue as the country inches more into full blown anarchy or civil war.
Our Party has studied the state of the national security crisis, its multiple faces, the targets and modes of operation, its immediate and remote causes, and the ineffective ways these have been handled over since 1998 and concluded that Nigeria must return to people centred social justice principles of social justice to emerge as a united single country.
The message of SDP at this junction is that Nigeria must return to the basics and no longer follow the same decadent and despotic approaches again. It is imperative for Nigeria to revert to people-centred core principles of social justice to contain insecurity crisis, curtail political oppressions and stem the tide of agitations for disintegration and move forward as one Nigeria.
Building national security is a collective responsibility of all the critical stakeholders in Nigeria and most important stakeholders are the people and only people-centred programmes can redeem the glory of Nigeria. There was indeed a time when the country imbibed a people-centred social democracy and elected a Social Democratic Party candidate, Chief MKO Abiola in a free and fair election which was devoid of ethnic or religious considerations; and is still considered the best in Nigeria so far. It is certainly time to go back to people centred basics to avoid total collapse.
In pursuit of lasting solutions, sdp has decided to send its National Working Committee to deliver a people-centred Non-Partisan Four-Point Agenda of Intervention to the Senate President in his capacity as the Head of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Assembly; send individual letters to each one of the 109 Distinguished Senators of the Upper Chambers and to each of the 360 Honourable Members of the House of Representatives as well as send its State Working Committees in all 36 States of the Federation to deliver same Agenda to all State Assemblies with individual letters to all the 975 members of the House across Nigeria. This is expected to re-establish the connections with the people of Nigeria, pass this non-partisan agenda to all people of Nigeria and engage them in finding lasting solutions.
This agenda is simple to digest and is based on people-centred ideology and directed to all law makers in Nigeria who represent the people of Nigeria. With this Agenda, the Social Democratic Party, SDP has essentially demanded that Nigerian law makers work with the Executive and Judiciary Arms of Government, civil societies, organized private sector, religious leaders, traditional rulers, traditionists and other stakeholders to take steps to save Nigeria before it is too late. The Four-Point Intervention Agenda is briefly highlighted below:
A. Admit widespread crisis, Tackle Decisively
That basically, the Federal Government has legal responsibilities to expand the security apparatus including recalling Military and paramilitary veterans, increase the wages and welfare of security and law enforcement officers and enhance information and intelligence gathering to be more effective and efficient.
That because Government appears overwhelmed, it should explore transnational and regional cooperation in the fight against insurgency while firm and decisive actions should be taken always to avert the spread of anarchy in the country.
B. Admit Lapses, Repair Social Architectural Order
That Government needs deeper understanding of issues in all cases and especially in making decisions while all its actions should be rooted on well-thought through processes based on information, data and intelligence.
That crimes and criminalities should be tackled frontally and Government should demand judiciary accountability and responsibility and stop condoning corruption in the judicial system.
That rehabilitation, reorientation and deradicalization of social deviants, agitators, bandits, and others should be considered along with amnesty where appropriate.
That the National Orientation Agency should be reinvigorated for nation-wide value campaigns which should involve religious institutions and traditional rulers to promote new national order.
Above all, Government must enhance participatory democracy through more engagement of citizens and operate a robust Long Term Development Planning Programme to address explosion in population and the accompanying demand-side crisis in virtually all sectors.
C. Admit Social Imbalance, Restructure Critical Sectors
That enabling inclusiveness is required to address agitations caused by imbalance, injustice, and oppression and Executive and Legislative Arms need to give room for venting of opinions rather than gaging divergent opinions.
That the Legislative Arm needs to work out a novel and genuine approach to forge a strategic national discourse encompassing contributions and participation of all stakeholders to fashion out how best to live and operate together as one great nation.
That restructuring of the critical sectors of the nation’s economic governance, such as the Land Use Act; Creation of State Police and Community policing and urgent implementation of electoral reforms to ensure free and fair processes that make votes count and be counted.
That a federalism where devolution of power works along with citizen engagement, empowerment of local government structures to assure complete citizen participation beyond casting of ballots is required as well as collective production of new “We the People” Constitution for the new envisaged Federal Republic of Nigeria.
D. Admit Reality, Change the “Change” and Adopt Social Justice
That the people want a country where the President must lead and provide leadership and where the law makers concentrate on principles of social justice of access to resources, equity for all, participation by all, diversity, and sanctity of human rights
That the Executive arm in collaboration with the Legislators should provide Stimulus Package for security and developmental programmes and the set-up of National Security Improvement Council and a national consensus building project.
That with ultimate goal to eschew corruption in all its ramifications and promote good governance and sustainable development, Government should operate a three-step implementation scheme to address (a) Immediate Actions utilising Executive Orders and Legislative Laws to start healing process and restoration of order; (b) Medium Term Action requiring new National Discourse to produce a new Constitution; and (c) Evolving a long-term National Development Planning Programme.
Nigerian people need life more abundant. Long Live Nigeria.
Dr. Olu Agunloye, 6 May 2021