I was privileged to sit with His Excellency, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON. We discussed insecurity in Africa and Nigeria in particular, and how we can once again sleep with our eyes closed.
It is my heart desire to see every part of Africa peaceful, peace gives room for rapid socio-economic development. Available data shows that Nigeria has over 200 Million population, such that if properly harnessed could see the country fully self-sufficient with rapid economic development and it would have a direct impact on the continent’s development.
The Agreement on AfCFTA represents a unique collaborative effort by African countries to bolster regional and economic integration, by among other things, increasing intra- African trade and investments, as well as deepening economic relationships in the best interest of all.
Sadly insecurity and terrorism are critical issues that have hampered industrialization and sustainable development in Nigeria in particular and Africa at large. It is also a major threat to the AfCFTA vision.
I have been privileged to travel the length and breadth of Nigeria by road, I obviously can’t try it now. Unfortunately in the Nigeria of today, insecurity is the order of the day. No single day passes without reports of kidnapping, banditry, robbery, murder, unlawful killings, violence, and crisis. You can’t afford to do a road trip across Nigeria without adequate security arrangements. If you do, even the security agencies would blame you for taking such a risk.
You will agree with me that it is a trying time in the nation’s history, albeit not one that cannot be surmounted. The problems are hydra-headed and multifaceted, ranging from insecurity virtually in every part of the country all happening simultaneously, economic recovery problems, impunity, human rights violations, and public accountability issues.
The quagmire in which security challenges have placed Nigeria as a nation is unquantifiable. A nation that is blessed with both human and natural resources, is suffering from severe pangs of hunger to the detriment of the citizens. Nigeria continues to be a developing country struggling to find its feet among the comity of nations. This is obviously due to numerous factors one of which is the prevalent insecurity that has continued to present a challenge to our development and growth.
His Excellency the Vice President observed that Boko Haram has been primarily degraded and limited to pockets of attack on soft targets. He stated further that every generation is faced with unique challenges, he noted that there is hope and we can overcome the security challenges in Nigeria.
I share His Excellency’s optimism and his passion to have the issues resolved once and for all, it is highly commendable. I commend his tenacity, zeal, patriotism, and determination to do the best in the peculiar circumstance that we found ourselves.