Ex-DIA chief to govt: Don’t take Nigerians’ resilience, patience for granted

By Nudoiba Ojen

A former Deputy Chief of Defence Administration at the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Commodore Kunle Olawumi retd, has advised the governments in Nigeria to take urgent steps to assuage peoples immediate societal needs.

Olawumi, now a lecturer and Head, Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Chrisland University, Abeokuta, cautioned President Bola Tinubu not to take the resilience and patience of hungry Nigerians for granted to avert the wave of uprising and peoples angst directed at government authorities across Africa countries, the latest being Kenya.

Dr Olawunmi, spoke in a public lecture titled, ‘The Nexus Between Governance and Societal Needs and Peace in Nigeria’ that he delivered at the university’s College of Arts, Management and Social Sciences (CAMASS) on Thursday.

The lecture, which was chaired by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chinedum Peace Babalola, attended by a large assemblage of academics and students.

He said, “Nigeria is in a state of anomie. The Nigerian state is today facing its worst economic crisis. Poor Nigerians are experiencing deprivations in basic necessities of life with multidimensional poverty.

“Money politics has derailed societal wellbeing. Currently there is what I call hopes dashed whereby a few people have held Nigeria to ransom and have left the country underdeveloped with little hope for redemption.

“The country is so unsafe, so unsecured that you wonder whether there’s actually any government in Nigeria.

“The scale of good life is skewed in favour of businessmen politicians. These present cohorts of leaders have held the nation by the jugular despite abundant human and natural resources and they have not been able to provide electricity for the populace after 25 years of democracy.”

Olawunmi continued further: “What we have seen in Nigeria is a situation of predators in the corridors of power whereby the real power moves further away from the people. Therefore, democracy remains an illusion of inclusion. The Nigeria singularity defies logic, common sense and the ideals and values of democracy have become disillusioned.

“The government of the day must be careful. I hope they are listening. It doesn’t require soothsaying to know that the government has very little time to act urgently to listen to the cries of the people.

“May be Nigeria will be next after the peoples’ revolt witnessed in Kenya which happened because that government refused to heed what the people wanted. Today, the Kenyan President has almost completely lost control of governance and he might even be contemplating resignation from office. May that not happen in Nigeria”.

Olawumi, an expert in Global Counter-Terrorism, recommended that the Federal Government should urgently criminalize corruption with capital punishment via a legislation through the National Assembly as part of measures to reinvent a new ethos in Nigeria.

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