A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has said that poverty and insecurity were fuelling insecurity in the country.
On the insecurity in Imo State, Okorocha advised the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, to consult him.
Okorocha disclosed that as a governor of the state for eight years, he was able to consult widely.
According to a statement issued by Okorocha’s media office in Owerri, the state capital, Okorocha spoke in Jos, Plateau State, when he payed a condolence visit to the family of late Mrs. Felicia Biskanga.
According to the statement, insecurity would continue to persist until the political leaders come together to solve the problems of poverty and injustice in the country.
Okorocha, who now represents Imo West at the senate, said, “The security situation in Imo State, the security situation in Nigeria as a whole, the security situation in all nooks and crannies of our society is not palatable. We are passing through a very difficult moment in the history of our nation.
“The recent attack on the Police headquarters and the Correctional centre in Imo State, the unending herdsmen crises, the banditry, the unending Boko Haram, kidnapping, these are all products of poverty and injustice and I think time has come for we political leaders to tell ourselves the truth and address this ugly situation and help our men and women of the Armed Forces and the Police who are currently fighting the symptoms and not the disease of poverty and injustice,” the statement read.“While I call for peace, I call for understanding, we have a duty as leaders to correct these ugly issues of injustices and poverty which is ravaging the country. During my time as a governor, Imo State was very peaceful and this security issues, agitations were on.
“Even IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) seemed to have been very strong during my own time, they were ready to engage government but we applied wisdom in the sense that we talked with the traditional rulers, the youth leaders and made them to see reasons.
“That is the way to go, engaging them with issues but this idea of bringing in Airforce, army as a first measure, whoever is saying politicians are involved is trying to politicize the whole thing. I don’t think that any sane politician will go and ask youths to shoot at the Police headquarters and all that,” it added.
Okorocha said, “My message to him (Uzodinma) is that he should face the challenge of leadership and consultation at this time is very important because if the governor consulted me and said how did you handle IPOB during your time that there was peace in Imo State, how did you handle the issue of kidnapping, how did you handle the issue of agitators? I would have told him.”
“During my time, we collected more than a 100 AK47 rifles from the youths who came for exchange willingly just by talking to them. We must always understand that these children are our children.
“We are overloading the military and the police in trying to help the situation when we have not tackled the issues of injustices in this country and the issues of poverty.
“As long as these continue in the form and shape it is going on, and as long as young men wake up in the morning and there is no job and poverty ravaging the system, there is little or nothing the armed forces can do because it is a growing thing. The young men are coming out of schools, they are not getting jobs, we must address that.”