Members of the Press present here today, I salute you. I must commend you all for responding to this distress call for action, on the need to address the world on the insecurities, and other affected sensitive variables in our dear country, Nigeria.
Before we address the ugly situations springing up on daily basis in Nigeria, permit me to introduce to you some statistics and verifiable data. Nigeria, as we all know has the largest population in Africa. And according to the United Nations, the overall population of Nigeria is currently at 218, 601, 314 as at July 1st, 2022. This figure is expected to be at 401.31 million by the end of year 2050, and by year 2100 if the current figures continue projecting at same pace, the population of Nigeria will be over 728 million. The Census Bureau of the United States stated that, the population of Nigeria will surpass that of the United States in 2047, when our population is expected to be at 379.25 million. With these numbers, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world.
Another variable we have identified as a factor or major cause of insecurity and instability across the country is the very high unemployment rate due to government inability to engage this growing population productively.
Unemployment as we all know is gradually becoming a norm in our society. And according to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’ unemployment rate is currently put at 33.3%, while that of youth unemployment rate is currently at 42.5%. These are not figures any country should be proud of.
As the Vice President (West Africa), Pan-African Youth Union (PYU); the umbrella/coordinating body for youth activities in Africa through workable synergy with members of the National Youth Council of the African Union member states across the continent, I have identified through my activities here in Nigeria in the past few months since my emergence as the Union’s Vice President in the 4th extraordinary elective congress of the union that was held in Niger Niamey from November 15th to 16th, 2021.
Ugly events such as;
1. Insecurity: Kidnaping of high and low profile citizens, attack on Abuja-Kaduna rail track on 28th March 2022 at exactly 7:45PM, attack on Presidential advance team in Katsina State on 5th July, 2022 at about 11:30AM, Kuje Prison attack/assault still on July 5th, 2022, ambush of the Presidential Guard in Abuja on 26th July, 2022, which led to the death of eight soldiers according to reports making rounds on some of the country’s verified news spaces, and threat of eminent attack on the country’s capital city, Abuja, by Terrorists.
2. Five months and still counting industrial action embarked on by the Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU).
3. In the economy: sporadic fall of the naira and high rise in dollar rate, with the later currency currently buying at 680 naira to one dollar and selling at 710 naira in the country’s parallel market.
Nigeria’s debt stock rose to N41.6 trillion ($100.1 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, as against a foreign reserve of $38.483 billion as at 31st May, 2022. The country has never had it this bad. With all these declines and heartbreaking figures, the people saddled with the responsibilities of piloting the economic affairs of the country till now have no clear economic plan to take us out of this quagmire.
4. Politics: with all the stated woes above, and in the midst of these challenges, political leaders in Nigeria are busy with the affairs of politics and politicking to scheme or secure a spot for themselves ahead of the country’s 2023 general election. On this, I will agree with an African proverb which says, “One does not sleep in a house that is on fire.”
We have identified population explosion, with corruption playing a supportive role as factors for insecurities, bad economy, and other growth redundant events currently affecting Nigeria.
I therefore call on the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the leadership of her number one citizen, His Excellency President Mohamadu Buhari, to with immediate effect constitute a workable committee with members cutting across all deciding constraints of the country; the youths, religious organizations, and notable stakeholders, to deliberate on possible and implementable diplomacies for these woes.
Also as a matter of necessity, Mr President, President Muhamadu Buhari should checkmate affected ministries/ agencies that have done little or nothing in the past to address these challenges. The Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Natioinal Planning, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Education, and other sister agencies assisting these ministries to come up with workable plans to solving these threats against the existence and unity of our country, Nigeria.
My penultimate charge will go directly to Nigerian politicians already out in their numbers as expected, canvassing for support and votes from electorates to occupy certain elective positions. This, they are doing without paying appropriate attention to the fact that the country they wish to represent or lead, needs saving. They all need to realize that for electorates and citizens to enjoy these dividends of democracy they are promising to deliver, one need to first of all rescue the country from obscurity, insecurity, corruption, bad economy, and disintegration of unity across board.
We cannot have a united family, in a divided house. Nigeria needs to be saved before leadership can become a topic of debate.
I therefore urge Nigerians in all cities, towns, and villages across the country, particularly areas prone to attacks by bandits and hoodlums that have sworn to disrupt and elevate breakdown of law and order, to take precaution and adhere to security counsels in their localities as we all remain calm and hopefully navigate through these perilous times.
My final charge is for President Muhamadu Buhari to call for questioning these individuals; Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank, Zainab Ahmed, Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mej. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi, Honorable Minister of Defense, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Honorable Minister of Education; as we all believe that they ought to have adequate response to the many questions on the lips of Nigerians as to why the country is on decline in sensitive areas such as security, economy, and the education sector.
As the most populous country in Africa and one of the most populated in the world, our leaders needs to derive mechanisms to address issues surrounding unemployment of youths and citizens to control insecurity across the country, and dialogue with aggrieved parties to broker peace.
The country belongs to us all. Let us work collectively towards saving it.
God bless Africa,
God bless the Youth Constituency.