Jone Arogbofa: Why Nigeria needs to review 1999 constitution

Chief of Staff to former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, General Jones Oladeinde Arogbofa (rtd), has stressed the need for the Federal Government to prevail on the National Assembly to review the 1999 constitution of the Nigeria in line with the current realities to curb the rising insecurity in the country.

Arogbofa who also advocated for the creation of National Technology village, that will cater for the low level of technology and enhance civil-military cooperation in technological breakthrough, said a special court should also be established for the prosecution of terrorists and bandits.

“The establishment of a Special Court to try terrorists and bandits would go a long way to fast track their prosecution and sentences. There are quite a number of criminals of these classes in various Correctional Centres all over the country due to the slow judicial system,” he said.

Speaking during Basorun Seinde Arogbofa University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Ondo branch, Lecture, titled, “Insecurity In Our Nation: Challenges and Responsibilities of the Elites” said the elites have essential roles to play in the socio-political and economic life of every country.

Arogbofa who was represented by Major-General Clement Olukoju (rtd), however, noted that the elite class in Nigeria has seemingly assumed a dimension that is of no realistic value in the preservation of lives and property to deliver sustainable development, peace and prosperity.

According to him, as the nation continues to grapple with incessant kidnappings, killings and other related security threats, the best way to tackling the disturbing menace in the country by dealing with with some challenges militating against elites in dealing with insecurity.

He listed some of the challenges to include; constitutional impediment, lack of consensus among the elites and inappropriate deployment of bureaucrats, and technocrats, as well as low level of technology and poor budgeting system.

He said, “Perhaps the elites would have performed well to enhance security of Nigeria but for some challenges. Today, Nigerians live in fear and are killed and kidnapped at will.

Unfortunately, most of the victims are the masses while the elite are unperturbed.

“This depressing picture of Nigeria is a source of concern and it is the reason for this intervention put together by the organizers of this Lecture so that we can rescue this nation from the lingering insecurity.”

He noted that armed banditry festered across the country since 2008, lamenting that now fewer to 77,850 deaths were recorded across the six geopolitical zone.

The retired Military officer said the federal government needs to initiate and implement policies that would address poverty, unemployment, injustice, corruption, porous borders and proliferation of arms and weapons.

“There is no doubt to state that once the elites fail in carrying out its statutory role, the tendency is there that such country easily slips into a state of collapse.

“It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria is paraded with elites that regard themselves as the canonical representatives of their personal, political, and ethnic interests while abandoning the role expected of them such as setting the standards that are worthy of emulation.

“A study of the elite responsibilities in the society revealed that not which has been achieved due to various challenges. These challenges include, constitutional impediment, lack of consensus among the elites and inappropriate deployment of bureaucrats, and technocrats. Others are low level of technology and poor budgeting system,” he said

He however, said, “it should be noted that the malignant tumour of insecurity can be healed through the proper chemotherapy. These include, constitutional amendment, establishment of special court, and national technology village as well as creation of Security Trust Fund.

“The challenge of poor budgeting system can be overcome through the creation of National Security Trust Fund. This Fund which could be domiciled with the Presidency could come from the sales of crude daily and USD$1.00 set aside per barrel.

“The availability of the Fund on priority basis will absolve the security forces from NASS and Civil Service bureaucracy which causes delay in releases of budgetary allocations to end users. This would ultimately enhance security.”

He called on the Federal Government to partner with private sector and individuals, to curb the rising insecurity in the country through the aggressive use of technology, saying a security expert, who is a US-based Nigerian, recently developed a software that could prevent, respond and investigate crime digitally.

He, however, appealed to the federal government to formulate and implement policies and programmes that will address the root cause of insecurity in the country, saying “the implementation of these recommendations could facilitate the responsibilities of elites in enhancing national security.”

Speaking, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, noted that insecurity is obviously on the increase in the country saying Nigeria was rated third behind Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2020 Global Terrorism Index.

Akeredolu, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Princess Oladunni Odu, expressed concern over increasing rate of insecurity in the south west region.

He said, “Our Southwest that is well known to be very peaceful is now being threatened with the various crimes, like kidnapping, robbery ritual killings among others. We must collectively work together to mitigate it to the barest minimum.”

“We must understand that as elites, we have enormous roles to play towards reducing crime rate in our society and we must be ready to support and advice the government on how insecurity can be reduced.”

The governor who lamented over the recent massacre in Owo, assured that the perpetrators would not go unpunished, saying the hands of the law will be caught up with them in no distant time.

He said the his administration championed and midwived the Amotekun corps to curb insecurity in the land, saying the security outfit has recorded many successes in securing lives of the people of the region.

Akeredolu however, solicited for the cooperation of the people of the state in fighting insecurity especially on the installation of CCTV devices in public places, saying his administration recently donated vehicles and other security equipments to boost security in the state.

“I strongly appeal to elites to support the government in the business of creating a safe, serene Ondo State.”
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.