Olusegun Bamgbose, a chieftain of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, has sent a new year message to Nigerians, telling them to be hopeful for great things in 2021.
In his message, the senior lawyer highlighted ways the country can come out of the current spate of insecurity, especially in the North East.
Bamgbose, who has made his interest to run in the 2023 presidential election public, noted that the country went through a lot of challenges in 2020.
In the speech he released and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, the senior lawyer said:
“I’m addressing my fellow Nigerians this new year, as a concerned citizen of this great country.
“You will agree with me that our nation passed through a lot of crisis ranking from the unexpected pandemic, EndSARS protests and this sadly led to recession.
“The spate of insecurity has equally not subsided. The activities of bandits, gunmen, kidnappers, terrorists have equally marred the year 2020.
“It was also reported that some harmless protesters were shot by the security agents. My heart goes to the families of the affected ones. Take heart. It will soon be over.
“Recently it was also widely reported that not less that 43 Rice farmers were inhumanly slaughtered in Borno State.
“This is not only barbaric, but horrific. My heart goes to the family of the victims. This is most unfortunate.
“The quick succession at which it has been happening is quite alarming. Life is very much unpredictable in our country these days.
“We can’t just sit down and watch people die hopelessly. As ordinary citizens of this country, we must fashion out a way to help the situation. We pray it won’t happen again.
“Many have been killed as a result of insurgency especially in the North East of our country.
“It’s not enough for us as citizens, to just as usual, condemn the dastardly act. That is never the solution.
“We must collectively seek for a solution. We have many times condemned the President and asked him to sack the service chiefs, but that has never improved the ugly situation.
“The question begging for answer is, what is the way out?
“As a concerned citizen of this country, I’ve taken time to brainstorm on this and I believe I’ve the ANSWER.
“I’m more particularly concerned about our brothers and sisters in the North East who on daily basis live in fear of being attacked and killed.”
He said for peace to reign in the North East, PEACE is the secret:
In explaining PEACE, Bamgbose added:
“P- Poverty Eradication – No country in the world has ever succeeded in combating crime and violence, without first and foremost confronting poverty.
“In Nigeria, and in particular in the the North East, we must have to set our priorities right, poverty must be crushed. We have to come up with programs to dislodge poverty in the North East axis.
“I have already set up North East Welfare Scheme, news.
“Hopefully this year, we shall set in motion avenues to raise N30B to fight poverty in the North East.
“E – Education : There can’t be lasting peace in the North East without education. Education is sin qua non to lasting peace in the North East. Education is key to lasting peace.
“A – Alternative security : We will be wrong to say that security agents are not doing anything, they are, but we will need to think through as per alternative security. To rely on the government to do the job alone may be a tall dream.
“C- Creation of job opportunities. With NEWS, much will be done in respect of this, but the government must equally focus on how to rapidly create job opportunities for the youths in the North East. This is very imperative.
“E – Economic rehabilitation : You will agree with me that the economy of the region has been shattered as a result of the insurgency. Economic rehabilitation is absolutely necessary.
“Finally, I want to assure my fellow citizens that there is a program in the offing that will drastically reduce crime in Nigeria as a whole. I’m hopeful that the program will be launched soon this year.
“I want to assure all Nigerians that poverty and hardship will soon be history in Nigeria. There is a program in the offing which will be launched this year, the LEAP Community. The sole aim of the Community is to eliminate abject poverty. Let’s Eradicate Abject Poverty, LEAP.
“Let’s be very hopeful because this year will be different. Let’s not lose hope in Nigeria. There is hope no matter how bad things are.”