Onoja to Govs: Don’t tear Nigeria apart over NGF election

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ABUJA—President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, AANI, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Onoja  (rtd), has charged state governors not to tear the nation apart over the leadership tussle of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF.

He berated the governors for their inability to conduct a credible election that could be accepted by the 36-member informal body.

He urged the governors to concentrate on good governance rather than playing politics of 2015 at the detriment of the nation’s socio-economic development.

Onoja said: “The recent unfortunate outcome of the NGF’s election in which 36 governors could not count 36 votes is a setback for democratic process.

“Indeed the incident that characterized the elections of NGF deeply saddened AANI. We strongly condemn the incident and wish to call on the governors to immediately put their house in order and refrain from any action that may threaten our collective security.

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“An informal gathering like the NGF is not a substitute for the constitutional National Economic Council, all the game plans for 2015 should give way to good governance in 2013.

“We need all hands to be on deck to address critical challenges facing the country today to be sure of a country in 2015 ”.

Dissatisfied by the quality of governance at the state level, the AANI president advocated that governors should go to NIPSS and sharpen their capacity for good governance and leadership skills, saying, “we also strongly recommend that governors have refresher course in NIPSS Kuru to enhance their capacity and broaden their patriotic national outlook.”

He also charged the governors  to cooperate  with President Goodluck Jonathan  in his efforts towards returning the economy to the path of sustainable growth through  sound economic policies.

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On the fight against insurgency in parts of the country, Gen. Onoja said President Jonathan should exploit necessary resources to restore normalcy.

According to him, no amount of money was comparable to the lives of innocent Nigerians, whom have been murdered by fundamentalists in Northern Nigeria since 2009.

His words, “the most critical challenge today remains the issue of security.  To this extent, we support the emergency measures taken by the president to address security challenges in some parts of the country namely, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“The primary responsibility of government as stated in the constitution hinges on security of lives and properties of citizens.

“I am bold to say that no amount of money spent to ensure security is too much.  As a matter of fact, the cost of insecurity is even higher than the cost of maintaining security.  The recent state of insecurity has led to massive loss of lives and properties which are estimated in multiple trillions of Naira.

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“Indeed, no cost can be assigned to loss of lives that include youth corpers, peasant farmers, ordinary workers and security agents”.

He equally tasked the three tiers of government to address the root causes of insecurity which he identified as of unemployment, poverty and corruption.

The AANI president disclosed that the NIPSS has played very critical roles in Nigeria’s stability over the years and should be better funded by the federal government to enable more Nigerians in leadership positions benefits from the strategic studies the institute offeres.

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