Advices Tinubu for standing regional security to fight insurgents
Says focus on Nigerian domestic issues more important than ECOWAS
Says continued border closer is an economic sabotage
From Idu Jude, Abuja
As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes the mantle of leadership of the West African subregional body, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), an expert has advised the Nigerian President to muster the political will to prevail on leaders in the region against sit-tight ambition, a banana peal before all of them and reason for insecurity.
Dr Garus Gololo, a retired senior serviceman and an APC chieftain, gave the advice during a chart with the media Monday in Abuja while congratulating Tinubu on his new appointment to head the subregional body.
Dr Garus further stated that the gale of military coups in the West African countries is a result of undemocratic sit-tight ambition, which should be addressed urgently to avoid more occurrences.
The retired General, while proffering solutions to the menace, said, “It is a good thing that President Bola Tinubu, has been selected to lead the regional body again, just like all his predecessors did in the past. But I would advise that he should muster the political will to stop this gale of coup, which he has alluded to during his acceptance speech. But there is only one hard way out of the woods and that is to make all African leaders see reasons for true and lasting democracy to take effect. Just take a look at these French-speaking countries in Africa, experience has shown that they have one kind of constitution, which can guarantee a sitting President to continue in office as far as he can still contest and win. As a member of the artillery brigade, I led soldiers to Cote d’Ivoire during Laurent Gbagbo and Alhassan Quattara. And after that Quattara wanted to repeat the same thing he accused Gbagbo of by trying to change the constitution to favour him.
“I can tell you authoritatively that what happened in Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso was that leaders after spending out their tenure, proposes to change the constitution using Presidential fiat to continue being in office. I want to say that this kind of thing should stop because people are politically getting wiser by the day. we now leave in a digital world where people have information at their fingertips. You see, that is why I respect Good Luck Jonathan for his leadership qualities. I don’t know him as a person but his love for democracy is second to none. If it were Atiku Abubakar, he wouldn’t accept defeat like Jonathan did, We know those who are enemies of democracy and we have also to understand what democracy means.
“Why not take a look at Senegal and Cameroon? where Paul Biya intend to die in office? I think that these are issues which have become a political menace to the West African countries and I believe that such might not bring the equitable leadership they seek, which causes coup d’etats.
“I know that stopping coup d’etat is not easy as we talk of it more especially when the leadership has failed. We must begin with the fundamental issues.”
Speaking on the possible economic integration among ECOWAS communities, he informed that the continued closure of the borders linking Nigeria and other countries was a direct economic sabotage by the former President Buhari-led administration, with the fact that the decision, brought untold hardship to millions of Nigerians.
“Left to me economic integration of the West African subregion died under Buhari with the drastic decision of closing the borders. It was when he closed borders that the price of a bag of rice shot from 7, 000.00 to N40 000. Even the local farming he told us to encourage was not even able to give us enough for local consumption let alone exportation. How can that be in a country, where the minimum wage is 30.000, which means that the price of a bag of rice cost higher than the salary of so many Nigerians? My opinion is that the minimum wage should have been at the rate of 100.000.00, so as to cushion the economic problems of the masses.”
Speaking on insurgency as one of the problems of the region, which President Tinubu should tackle urgently, Dr Gololo, revealed that for the region to have this peace and stability for steady economic growth, the regional leadership should try as much as possible to create a joint security task force to man the borders of each country in a collaborative effort to end insurgency.
“Let me tell you one thing, I know much about how these people operate and I can tell you that without this measure, we would keep seeing an influx of arms and ammunition used in other countries infiltrate other borders for continued operations of splinter groups or establishing of the same group in another neighbouring county. Take a look at Libya Egypt, Tunisia and the Niger Republic, after the war in Libya, the ammunition used in Libya was found in other neighbouring countries and that was how even Boko Haram got their arms. So in other to cub such and for the region to remain in peace, we should advocate and see the implementation of this security collaboration. I know that former president of Libya Mumar Gadaffi, before his death proposed for such a joint African Union standing security body which can be used any time there is an emergency and for border patrol. So the West African Nations should key into what NATO and other countries of the World are doing.”
Meanwhile, the APC chieftain has reminded President Tinubu, not to lose focus in delivering his campaign mandate to Nigerians, while working for West African economic integration and development. He said, many Nigerian leaders in the past have lost focus abandoning domestic duties while playing big brother roles to other African countries as Nigeria being the giant of Africa.
“Left for me it makes no sense to offer helping hands to other African countries, while there is endemic hunger at home. Of what use is it for one to give billions to another country in the name of a big brotherly role while a bag of rice is 40, 000.00 you see it makes no sense. So I am advising him to be careful about these countries always coming to Nigeria when they need help. I am advising him that we the Nigerian people voted him into office and we should be his immediate priority. And without our vote, there wouldn’t have been Ecowas appointment. So he should have that at the tip of his fingers.”
Commenting on the need for Government of National unity, when asked, Dr Gololo took a swipe at those calling for a winner-takes-all leadership, saying that there is nothing bad in choosing capable hands from other political parties. He said people like the ex-Governor of Rivers State, ex-Governor of Borno State Prof Zulum and ex-Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El-Rufai are governors who have distinguished themselves in terms of developmental projects across their states. He noted that a visit to these states would show good infrastructural development under their leadership.
“I do not know Wike in person and we have never met. He is even a member of PDP, not APC for the time being. But I like his political will of giving back to the people. Under him has emerged such good infrastructural development and I believe that if given another chance should perform well to justify such thrust in his hands. Even if you do not like these men for other things but what about what they have done in their various states in terms of development? So leadership is about plan and delivery of people’s mandate. Today we have seen Governor who after 8 years was not able to put in place ordinary drainages. So on the appointment, we should see Tinubu beyond APC President. He is the President of Nigeria and many Nigerians belong to different political parties. So I suggest that government of national unity is the way for enduring democracy legacy,” he said.
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