A Nigerian born and well exposed security expert, Otunba Adejare Adegbenro has faulted the “worst is over” claim made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed while briefing the pressmen on the security situation recently.
Adegbenro who faulted the statement while featuring on OGTV breakfast programme, New Dawn on Wednesday submitted that this is not the right time to make bogus statements but rather time to call on every stakeholder to work in tandem for a safe Nigeria.
“We Nigerians make mockery of ourselves and it’s a big joke. I get angry when I hear such claims. How’s the worst over? As far as I am concerned, Nigeria still has a lot of security gaps against terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements. If the minister is being truthful, the best thing he could say was, ‘we are working on it.’ That’s the appropriate thing to say. How many of them have gone to do on the spot assessment despite being in possession of bullet proof cars?!” he queried.
Speaking further, the Abeokuta Ogun State High Chief said, “It hurts me that the Nigeria I saw while growing up is not the Nigeria I see now. When he said the worst is over, wasn’t there an attack barely 24 hours after the abduction of 32 passengers along Ondo State axis on Oluku/Owo Road? Have they been released? Even after his statement, haven’t the criminals attacked? We thank God that we are very prayerful people.”
Adegbenro observed that, “if not for prayer, left to this set of political class, Nigeria would no longer be Nigeria, because Nigeria’s security strength is about 1.2 million to over 200 million people of the country,” lamenting that, “out of that small numerical strength, so many are being used by Federal Government, agencies and the VIPs, and if you deduct that, you will be amazed that quite a number of our security officers are doing what bodyguards should be doing ordinarily!”
However, Adegbenro admitted that, the Nigeria Army, the Air force, the Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies have been making tremendous efforts which must be commended them, just as he urged the government of the day to give them good welfare packages for their efforts to boost their morale.
Concluding, Adegbenro seized the opportunity of the program to also appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to support them pointing out that, “we are all Nigerians first and our tribe comes second.”
Adegbenro, a patriotic Nigerian in another development frowned at how Nigeria’s public facilities are being flagrantly used for unsuitable, indecent, unlawful advertisement in a manner that speaks volume on the image of the country.
His complaints was borne out of an advertisement banner calling on Nigerians to apply for citizenship of other countries like Vanuatu, Grenada and Turkey, complaining that, such an advertisement at the country’s gateway, Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja is not only indecent but also unpatriotic.
While admitting that, though going out and coming in is a fundamental human right of all citizens in a democratic setting according to the Universal Declaration of 1948, Article 13, luring, enticing and deceiving Nigerians to dump their fatherland for other countries leaves much to be desired as per image of the country.
He wondered aloud, whether the Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria (APCON), or Department of Outdoor Advertising and Signage of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) endorsed such an advertisement and the placement at the Departure Section of the Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, believing such is one of their mandates of the APCON and the likes to ensure that, “every advertisement shall be honest, legal, truthful and decent.”
In strong term, the worried High Chief of Ogun State, Nigeria was vehement in his assertion that, “the aforesaid advertisement is not decent enough for a nation which needs its skilled workers as bastion of development,” adding that, “apart from its unsuitability at one of the busiest airports in Nigeria, it is distasteful to know that a public facility in Nigeria has become an avenue for travelling agencies to promote their trades which could possibly be an attempt to fleece innocent citizens of this country.”
While agreeing that the country is truly passing through a turbulent period, Adegbenro said, “we cannot be too hopeful or too optimistic of a better Nigeria,” therefore calling on the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), the Aviation Ministry, the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhammed to make sure that, “our public and Airport Facilities do not serve as avenues for promotion of unverified, unsuitable, unapproved, indecent and unpatriotic products or services.”