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2019: APC, PDP, ANRP square-up on security

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Ahead of the 2019 General Elections, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) have squared-up on how they would tackle the growing insecurity in the country.

They bared their mind on Tuesday in Abuja at the Nigerian Political Parties Discussions Series (PPDS) organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

 

While a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, who is one of the spokespersons of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, represented his party, the ruling APC was represented by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lanre Isah-Onilu, and the ANRP was represented by its presidential candidate, Mr. Tope Fasua.

Speaking at the event the CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, said the robust exchange will allow political parties discuss their proposed policies, plans and programmes, should the Nigerian electorate entrust them with their mandate.

 

“The whole essence of having this kind of discussion is to mainstream issues into the electioneering campaigns. Because politicians mostly go to campaign trains and grounds and mainly danced or just talked without saying the specifics of what they want to do. This is a form of voter education and accountability mechanism to tell the people what their plans are or what they practically want to do beyond the official manifestos.

“Even those who are not in the hall are watching at home and they know what they are voting for. I think most of the manifestos are largely aspirational. They are not specifics on how to achieve them. So this conversation is also an opportunity to hear them better asides what they have written into the documents and also afford them the opportunities to go back for possible reviews as more and more questions are being asked,” she said.

Chidoka, who said that the biggest security threat facing Nigeria today was lack of identity, added that that there is no record available on criminal activities of mischievous people.

“The PDP will change the security sector first by moving from state centric security architecture to people centric architecture; our focus is to move away from guns to public safety. We must begin to measure our output in security in terms of how secure Nigerians are by delivering public safety across all parameters.

“That is why the PDP’s plan is focused on reducing the over centralization of the Nigerian security force. PDP’s second plan is to widen the concept of policing starting from the intelligence arm which is from the DSS arm to the enforcement arm it the Police, Civil Defence, Road Safety, NAFDAC to the courts who adjudicate on matters of criminality then to the corrective side which is the prisons,” he said.

The APC’s Lanre Isah-Onilu, said that the party had three plans to revamp the security sector in the next phase of its leadership, including increasing the number of the policemen.

“This government is focused on addressing those three issues, it is not a promise but it is what is already going on because the salaries of the police had just been increased,” he said.

Mr Fasua said a lot of security problems arose from poverty and hunger in the society and that his party would tackle insecurity through economic stability.

He said, “To achieve this, our party would work hard to double Nigeria’s national budget and grow her economy targeting a budget of N15trn in order to take people out of poverty. A hungry man is an angry man, so, if you put money in people’s hands and put food on their tables they will be less likely to cause security issues. So, our plan is a sound and equal economic sector free of corruption for the benefit of all.”

Daily Trust

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