ADEFARASIN: Blame failure of state

2010-01-31
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper- Wale Adefarasin


I DON'T have bullet-proof car or vest. But let me say this: the security of the people is the primary responsibility of the government.

"Our wellbeing, our safety is government's responsibility. It was the security of the American people that led the US government to include Nigeria on a list of 14 nations. They have taken steps to protect their people from terror. Even the billions or millions. I don't know the exact amount of money that we are about to spend in putting security at the Airport, is to protect US citizens primarily from terror.

"And what is our government, (I'm not talking about this government alone I'm talking about successive governments) doing to protect Nigerian citizens, particularly from the terror of fundamentalists. We must stop calling our problem in the north a religious crisis. It is not a question of one religion fighting another religion. It is a question of a few adherents of one religion using terror to impose their will, not only on those of other faith, even on those of their own faith.

"This is an issue the government must check. When people do not feel secure they will look for ways of guaranteeing their own security.

"I can tell you that in my first 10 years of life there was nothing like Bullet-proof, there was nothing like fences and walls on houses in Ikoyi because there was relative security.

"Today, it is a completely different story and this is the responsibility of government. Now, when it comes to people taking upon themselves the right to have armed personnel guiding them, you cannot do it legitimately without government's permission. And why would the government give permission to somebody to arrange his own security? They have failed to arrange general security. So, to put the problem in its proper context, government should make all Nigerians - wherever they live - feel secured. That is the answer to the problem. And until that problem is addressed you will continue to have people trying to arrange their personal security. Like now, if they don't provide electricity for you, you do that yourself.

"If they don't provide you water, you have to look for how you can provide your own water because you must survive.

"You quoted a verse of the scripture. But there's another that says: Except the Lord watches over the city, the watchman watches in vain, there is a watchman. Up to a point there is the need to have some level of security. "Why I don't have security? I just believe that God is there. Also, if I felt the need for security, if the situation is such that I needed additional security I may have to make arrangement. At this point in time I'm okay."

 

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