Architect Ibrahim Bunu, a former Nigerian minister has blamed the current state of insecurity and attendant destruction of public infrastructure in the northern region on corruption, selfishness, and insensitivity of the region’s leadership.
Not absolving himself of blame, Bunu who was one-time Nigeria’s minister of the Federal Capital Territory, said unlike other parts of the world, the leadership class in the north is only known for the selfish acquisition of properties and related wealth at the expense of the welfare of the masses.
“We have that insatiable greed for acquisition, especially, those who found the opportunity to serve in public offices,” he said.
He made this remark at a one-day town hall meeting organised to address the issue of vandalisation of power and telecommunication infrastructure in Borno State which was held in Maiduguri, the state capital on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Bunu who spoke on behalf of ‘Borno/Yobe Citizens in Abuja’, a political pressure group, said the issue of Boko Haram and the attendant vandalisation of public infrastructure were recent phenomena that were alien to the culture and traditions of people of northern Nigeria.
“We are insensitive to the plight of our people, with I being inclusive, and that itself is a by-product of us forgetting about our traditional lifestyles when the communities and traditional institutions used to take part in the checks and balances of the officials,” he said.
Bunu, who is the pressure group’s leader, said to effectively address the insecurity in northern Nigeria, those who get to the public offices must fear God and genuinely work to serve the people. He said the government should consider prioritising the fight against corruption and the enforcement of laws.
“In all parts of the world where things are working, where they have an efficient system that works for the people, they have very rigid laws that work against corruption. We must see that our laws fight and insist on accountability from leaders and our representatives.”
He also called on the government to consider the idea of collapsing small villages and hamlets into one big town to justify the need to properly provide security for them by the armed forces of Nigeria.
The town hall meeting which was co-hosted by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, was attended by stakeholders cutting across political, business, traditional and religious sections of the state.
Maiduguri, Borno State capital has been plunged into the darkness since January when Boko Haram insurgents attacked major power transmission towers that take electricity to the city.
Several efforts have been made by the state government and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to restore the light, but were frustrated by the Boko Haram insurgents who continued to attack more electricity poles and even the personnel at the work sites.
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