Saturday, December 3, 2022

ESN not a creation of South East Govs, Onoh faults Peter Obi

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…vouch for Tinubu’s defense of Nigeria’s unity, security

The South East Spokesman for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential Campaign, Dr. Josef Onoh has faulted the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi for ascribing the formation of Eastern Security Network (ESN) to the Governors of South East geopolitical zone.

Obi had on Monday, during an interactive session with some Northern leaders under the auspices of the Arewa Joint Committee, said that the ESN was created by the Governors of South East.

Responding to one of the questions posed to him on the reason why he has not condemned the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Obi said: “…Eastern Security Network was formed by the Governments of the Eastern States. These are the Governors who formed Security teams, how can I go and condemn them?”

But Onoh said that Obi goofed in his answer, correcting that the IPOB formed the ESN in December 2020, as a reaction to the Igbo’s perception that they are targeted by Muslim Fulani herders, whom they accuse of grazing on farmlands and committing crimes against local residents. The movement then morphed into a paramilitary unit with deadly broader functions until it was finally proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the federal government supported which supported the prescription with extant laws of the federation.

He noted that his principal, Bola Tinubu, will unite Nigeria and address every agitation, adding that Tinubu also has solutions to the current forms of insecurity challenges in Nigeria as he clearly affirmed on Monday, when he reeled out his blueprint for the country, assuring his administration would bring out workable policies to ensure that insecurity is nipped in the bud in the North and across the country.

Tinubu, who spoke during an interaction with northern leaders under the aegis of the Arewa Joint Committee at Arewa House, Kaduna, noted that he would transform Nigeria just like he did upon assumption as Lagos State governor.

Onoh stated that whereas he does not have the mandate to speak in defense of the southeast governors, he can assure the leaders and people of the southeast that Tinubu will preside an indivisible Nigeria with priority in tackling different forms of insecurity in Nigeria.

He also vouched for Tinubu’s government’s respect for and guarantee of the fundamentals human rights of Nigerians, having suffered rights violations in the course of his pursuit for entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.

He stated that Tinubu will ensure that the southeast in particular is returned as the safest part of Nigeria, in the same manner he will tackle other insecurity problems in different parts of the country.

Citing instances of how Tinubu had ensured that insecurity was curtailed as Governor of Lagos state and which he will replicate as President of Nigeria, Onoh recalled that on assumption of office as Governor of Lagos state in 1999, Tinubu met grievous security situation in the state with armed robberies taking place in banks and other places in broad daylight, widespread urban crime worsened by terrible environmental filth and degradation, bad condition of most roads, incessant traffic chaos and indiscipline as well as ethnic clashes, leading to several deaths and destruction of property worth millions of Naira.

He gave instances of violent and bloody clashes between ethnic groups involving, among others, the Yorubas, Igbo, Ijaw and Hausas in different communities at the popular Mile 12 market, Ketu, in Kosofe local government area, Ajegunle, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, the Oko-Oba abattoir in Agege as well as Mile 2 and parts of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government areas, just to name a few.

“Tinubu as Governor in those occasions always responded promptly and actively to these incidents of violence, personally visiting the areas affected to offer succor to the wounded and displaced persons, plead for calm and restoration of peace while also working and coordinating closely with the security agencies to restore normalcy. It was this kind of proactive response to crises that helped ensure that after the initial communal violence witnessed in Lagos in 1999 and part of 2000 the state enjoyed peace and harmony throughout Asiwaju’s tenure.

“In order to contain the several clashes in Lagos at the inception of his administration, Asiwaju Tinubu integrated various leaders of ethnic groups such as the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa into the governance process through their representatives while also adopting different measures to empower and calm restive members of such groups as the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Egbesu Boys as well as key Hausa operatives of the Abattoir in Agege,” Onoh recalled.

He further remembered that one of the first security tasks undertaken by Tinubu was to re-name the anti-crime outfit, Operation Sweep, which he inherited from the military, which now became the Rapid Response Squad (RRS). While members of the squad from the military were withdrawn and sent back to the barracks, members of the new outfit were re-trained and re-orientated to interact with the public with respect, civility and decorum.

On the issue of climate change which Tinubu responded to at the Arewa joint committee session, Onoh supported Tinubu’s fear of the western world sincerity in the fight against global warming, citing Ghana’s expression of disappointment in the renege of western countries to live up to their earlier agreed funding of $25 billion by 2025 to help Africa adapt to climate change only to make a pledged of $55m.

Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo had criticised Western nations for their low financial commitment to addressing issues caused by climate change in Africa continent.

He said that going by the state of Nigeria’s economy, it would be wise if Tinubu refuses to mortgage the finances of Nigeria without the cooperation of other member nations, including the western world since the issue of climate change was a global responsibility.

“I assure Nigerians that Aswaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president of Nigeria will ensure these various agitations in various parts of the country and youth unrest resulting to migration attitude of a select few will be tackled by his economic plan which would utilize the vast natural resources we have, through strategic investment in infrastructure which will lead to the diversification of the economy and wealth creation across the entire country.

“He will pay attention to modern economic drivers such as the digital economy, creative industries, sports and entertainment sectors for the benefit of our young people. Under Asiwaju’s leadership, the Nigerian government will be business-friendly, focus on tackling underinvestment and effective management.

“His administration will support private businesses in our country and attract foreign direct investment to create jobs, re-industrialize our country and accelerate economic development. Nigerian businesses in sectors like banking and cement have successfully ventured out of the country to build thriving subsidiaries.

“Aswaju’s administration will build a strong domestic economy, expand the capacity of our domestic market to support growth and encourage export capacity in the areas of our comparative advantage. Aswaju’s experience of building human capital, which made Lagos one of the largest economies in Africa will grow the nation’s economy to an enviable height,” Onoh said.


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