Conference on Patriotism calls for state Police, Diaspora voting rights, Citizens Affairs office


State Police has been identified as the best option out of the pervasive state of insecurity in Nigeria.

This is the consensus reached at an International Conference on Patriotism, Security, Governance and National Development held recently.

A communiqué released after the Virtual Conference, convened by Global Patriot Newspapers in collaboration with the Nigerian Consulate in New York, USA and Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey chapter, decried the acute state of insecurity in Nigeria and insisted that policing powers must be devolved to the states for security of lives and property to be guaranteed.

The Conference, which had the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Keynote Speaker, also stressed that commensurate resources must also be devolved to the states for the implementation of the state police.

There should, equally be increase in the number of police personnel as well as in their quality through recruitment and better training while emphasis should be placed on intelligence and technology-based policing.

It was agreed that security of lives and property is the most basic responsibility of government, the absence of which impedes patriotism and hampers national development.

The Conference, which was chaired by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador (Professor) Tijjani Muhammed-Bande and had former Senate President and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim in attendance, also called on government to ensure that Nigerians in Diaspora are granted voting rights before the 2023 elections.

This, the Conference said, is because Diaspora remittances, which is estimated at more than $25 billion annually, makes Nigerians in Diaspora major stakeholders in the Nigerian project, who should have a say in who governs the country.

An array of distinguished Nigerians, including Senator Anyim, prominent Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), immediate past Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed of the Usman Dan Fodio University (UDU) Sokoto also insisted on the establishment of a Citizen’s Affairs Unit in the offices of the President and the Governors to ensure free flow of information and intelligence to those offices.

The Conference equally stressed that future elections in Nigeria must be better organized to ensure they are fraud-free and violence-free and that all legitimate votes count; while insisting that the monster of corruption must be more decisively combated.

Other speakers at the Conference, which insisted that the basic educational qualification for elective offices in the country should be raised, include Prof. Murtala Jide Balogun, Prof. Eddie Oparaoji, Prof. Olu Obafemi, Prof. Akil Khalfani, Prof. Apollos Nwauwa and Engr. Monago.

The Conference further insisted that mediocrity and every factor that does not promote excellence and merit as the only determinants for elective and appointive offices must be discarded.

While insisting that Civics and History must be fully re-introduced into the school curricula, the Conference called for a peoples constitution that should be arrived at by consensus so that all will have a strong sense of inclusion, which promotes patriotism and national development.

Noting that patriotism is inevitable for national development and that both the leaders and the led have roles to play in promoting good governance, the Conference agreed that the leaders must show the way by exemplary conduct and by creating the environment of physical, economic and social security that fire the patriotic spirit.

It was also agreed that Nigeria should lead the way in forging a pan-African patriotism that would motivate Africans and blacks all over the world to identify with and love their cultures, languages, foods etc more than before and together, work for lasting legacies, globally, as a people.

Photo: Nigeria’s National Assembly.

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