IN the wake of increased insecurity across the country, marked by heightened insurgency in the North East, serial attacks on communities, commuters, kidnappings, and abductions by armed bandits; veteran trade unionist, Comrade Issa Aremu, has advocated for the impeachment of heads of government on grounds of serious security lapses.
Comrade Aremu, Vice President of IndustriALL Global Union, African Region, stated this on the side-line of Special Fidau prayers for two late Second Republic notable politicians; former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, and former Member of House of Representatives, Dr Junaidu Muhammed, which he hosted along with other comrades and friends last weekend in Kaduna.
Comrade Aremu, who was Vice President of the NLC and until recently the General Secretary of Textile Union, noted that security breaches in the form of mass kidnappings of students and citizens is avoidable and therefore amount to “unacceptable dereliction” of state duties.
Aremu, who was the Kwara State governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the 2019 elections, asked the governors to stop the ongoing “discordant voices and diatribes,” situations he said embolden criminals, adding that what was needed was “mass dialogue” with the citizens through what he called “community renaissance” to isolate criminals.
Comrade Aremu, who called on state governors to deepen community policing in their respective states instead of promoting “unhelpful diversionary diatribes among themselves and against the federal government,” stated that after organising and putting all their energies and resources to campaign to be elected into office, governors must stop complaining when faced by insecurity but instead rise up to the challenge of leadership and proactively provide good governance.
“Good or bad governance is local. Governors organised with all their energies and resources, and campaigned to win offices. They must then stop “agonising” in the wake of security challenges. They must organise their respective communities to proactively prevent the unacceptable carnage we are witnessing in both rural and urban centres of their states,” Comrade Aremu said.
According to him, majority of the victims of the prevailing banditry and broad insecurity are “the poorest of the poor.” He said state governors “must not inadvertently fuel class war against the poor through indifference to “poor-on-poor” violence being presented as ethnic clashes in some communities.”
Noting that the oath of office that governors took on assumption of office is to secure lives and property and ensure public welfare, Comrade Aremu said he backs the call by Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, for a “Pan-Nigerian all inclusive” approach to the security challenges.
Aremu said apart from general non-performance or failure in other areas and breaches of the constitution, elected leaders should be made to quit office or they should be forced out through impeachment.
While paying tributes to the late politicians, Comrade Aremu observed that the times and lives of the two Second Republic politicians indicate that Nigeria was never short of selfless and patriotic leaders who he said ought to have been celebrated and acknowledged better while alive.
“All posthumous accolades are fine, but they come to naught and even political hypocrisy if the current governors and legislators cannot lead like Jakande in securing lives and properties, selflessness, disinterestedness, provisioning of mass housing and education for the poor, advocacy for a united and inclusive Nigeria like Dr Juniadu,” Aremu said.
While stating that the “pervasive security threats” in the country are manifestations of “alienation between the governors and the led,” Aremu tasked governors to reconnect with the people through “massive agricultural and industrial revolutions”, job creation and all inclusive community policing.
Comrade Aremu hailed Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, for “his passion for Community Policing. Stating that “community policing, involving all stakeholders is a practical way of democratising policing in a democratic system,” Aremu called for mass support for the Nigeria Police Force with a view to reforming it for better security service delivery.
“Nigeria Police Force has come of age. Established in 1820, NPF is the largest enduring internal security institution in Africa. In a democracy, NPF is the key driver of internal security,” he said while also observing that security being inherently a public good, demands involvement of the community through what he termed as “community renaissance.”
“There is the need for community renaissance with all working together to find innovative ways to combat common enemies: banditry, insurgency, kidnappings and all forms of violent crimes,” he stated.
Comrade Aremu, who frowned at “media’s generous coverage of violent crimes,” advised journalists to rather “magnify success stories in order to promote and sustain peace and minimise the celebration of cases of banditry and kidnappings. He said glorifying crime, banditry and insurgency stories only motivate the actors into what he described as “addictive crimes”.