ABUJA — THE Director of Policy Strategy in the office of the National Security Adviser, Ambassador Layiwola Lasehinde, yesterday, told Nigerians not to expect a quick resolution of insurgency in the country.
Ambassador Lasehinde, who spoke at a symposium organised by the United Nigerians Forum with the theme Nigeria of Our Dreams, said insurgency had become a virus that had entered the body politics of the country which would be extremely difficult to remove.
He explained that there were many disgruntled people supporting terrorists in the country.
Meantime, a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, had gone spiritual over the abduction of over 200 students of Government School, Chibok, by the Boko Haram sect, saying that he had the revelation that the girls would be released.
According to the Director, “it took America 10 years to locate Bin Laden and when you are talking of resources, American government spent huge amount of money in search of Bin Laden who was sitting in a house close to a military station.
“America cannot solve the terrorism problem in Afghanistan and they were there for years spending $1 million every day. They were also in Iraq, also spending $1 million every day. In fact, the place is worse than when they got there.
“We are not saying that we will not get to the end of terrorism in Nigeria, but do not expect a quick resolution. It is a virus that had entered the body politics of the country and it will be extremely difficult to remove it because there are many disgruntled people all over supporting them.”
No devt in North-East until…
He stressed that there would be no meaningful development in the affected region until there was peace, adding that for instance doctors sent there were kidnapped and killed.
He said: “If you try to build anything there, you will be massacred so peace has to be returned there first to achieve meaningful development in the area.”
Besides, he said, the European Union and the Department for International Development were already involved in a comprehensive strategy to ensure transparency in the development of a blue print for the area in line with the International best practices.
The initiative, he added, had long term, short term and medium term measures to rejuvenate socio economic activities in the region.
He said: “The prime programme will be jointly funded by the Federal Government, states and the development partners, which had pledged several billions of naira for the execution of the programme.
“The government had also put in place a victim support programme. The office of the NSA had designed two programmes to combat terrorism and to discourage young people from buying into the concept of terrorism.”
Says FG’s focused
He said that the Federal Government has remained focused despite the security challenges posed by the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the north eastern part of the country.
Lasehinde disclosed that the office of the NSA had also started a programme to protect critical assets of the country by compiling the comprehensive list of their current locations, and condition of the assets.
He said the strategic assets including government and private buildings such as NNPC headquarters, police headquarters, secretariats, educational institutions and other facilities would be fully guided against terrorists’ attacks.
He said: “The presidential initiative for the North-East is a martial plan for economic development and the committee is working with the affected state governments and development partners for the post-state of emergency period.”
Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, urged Nigerians to pray for the quick release of the remaining schoolgirls still in the custody of the sect, adding that God who delivered him after he was kidnapped for 21 days will also save the students.
Ozekhome said he had been optimistic that the girls would be released alive and that their freedom will end insurgency in Nigeria.
He said: “The Nigeria of our dreams is a country that would become one of the greatest countries in the world; a country that everyone would love to come and dwell in.
“I dream of a country which would always sponsor the talented ones amongst its citizens; a country with no trace of violence.
“I dream of a time, when every citizen of Nigeria would be proud to say, I am a Nigerian. These are the dreams I have for my country Nigeria.”
Other prominent Nigerians like former Presidential spokesman, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Mr. Umar Farouk, Dr Inusa Tanko, Hajia Ramatu Bala Usman, Hajia Aisha Bako, Dr. Kunle Fagbemi and Mr. Bankole Afilaka, also spoke on the occasion.