Senator Shehu Sani who in a brief interview with TOBI AWORINDE, spoke about the failures of Federal government and Northern Governors in tackling insecurity in the country despite the huge budget allocation and military operations.
“First and foremost, it’s unfortunate and tragic that governors from a region that is facing a serious security threat in terms of banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and violence have decided to prioritise the issue of social media over the issue that affects the lives and livelihoods of their people. In the last few years, kidnapping and extrajudicial killings and murder by bandits, herdsmen and insurgents have become the order of the day in northern Nigeria. Mourning and funeral services have become a daily affair. Many people are on the streets of Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna states. Thousands of people have been displaced from their villages. Farmers cannot go to their farms because they have been under siege.
He went further to state that: “People in the rural areas have been impoverished because of payment of ransoms. Corpses litter the bushes. People are still being kidnapped, not only in the villages but on the outskirts of the towns. For such people to have gathered and to see that what was more important to them was the issue of social media is most tragic and unfortunate. Social media has become the only tool by which Nigerians, particularly young Nigerians, can hold their government to account. What they (political leaders) desire is to have a political space where they will act with impunity; where they will work with compromised traditional media; and where they will always have their way and say. So, the resolution of these people is condemnable and is something that should not be taken seriously by Nigerians because their major interest is the image of their government; the preservation of power; politicking, politics and partisanship. This is what is most important to them and not the lives of their people”.
“Social media has become the people’s parliament and also the only weapon that is used by almost every Nigerian to hold the government to account, to hold them in check, to criticize the government and bring issues to national discourse. It has also become the torchlight with which grey areas of government and governance can have some light. They are only interested in a nation of silence and quiet; a nation of docile people who cannot stand up and challenge them. And they see social media as a threat to their government and their power, not as a threat to the country. It is unfortunate that the same people who used social media to ascend to power are now trying to undermine that same tool. As far as I’m concerned, what they want is simply a society and nation without an opposition, criticism or dissent, and they see the clampdown on social media as a means towards achieving that objective”.
“There are lots of issues the North is confronted with that ought to have been a priority to these governors. First is insecurity – banditry in the North-West, kidnapping in the North-East and herdsmen/farmers’ violence and ethno-religious crisis in the North Central. The second issue is poverty – people are so impoverished and the North has remained one of the poorest regions of Nigeria. That should have been a purpose to them. Third is education; the North is educationally backward. Millions of young people are out of school and, unfortunately, those who have been in positions of power ought to have done something about it, but they have failed to do that. The fourth aspect is the collapse of the economy of the North. The system of federalism, as it is today – fake federalism – and the over dependence on oil has destroyed agriculture, solid mineral exploration, industry and even human capital in the North. These issues should be of importance to them and should have been given more concern. Even the issue of health – most of the diseases that have long been wiped out in other parts of the world are still prevalent in the North or were recently eradicated, for example, polio. Leprosy and cholera are still with us. If those things cannot be a priority to them, why should social media be an issue?”
Leave a Comment