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Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2013

National Dialogue Remains Nigeria’s Antidote to Disintegration–Urhobo Monarch

The Ovie of Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ochuko Ararile (rtd)

LAGOS MAY 16TH (URHOBOTODAY) The Ovie of Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ochuko Ararile (rtd) has declared that unless the Federal Government is ready to address the challenges of insecurity across Nigeria in a holistic manner, the planned amnesty for the dreaded terror group Boko Haram will not address the chronic insecurity in the country..
The retired Air Vice Marshal, who was the pioneer Coordinator of the Amnesty for Niger-Delta militants made this known in a statement he issued on the state of the nation in Abuja.

According to the royal father “We should look into insecurity generally and not on zonal level. If the government must grant amnesty to Boko Haram, it must be within the framework of an all embracing agreement that addresses the security issues in all zones.
Ararile insisted that any zonal solution to insecurity by any government was bound to fail because such a solution in one zone may encourage crises in another; saying that if all the geo-political zones are involved, a long term solution can be achieved.
To this end, the Abraka monarch advocated for a round-table conference or national dialogue by all the zones where the underlying concerns that have led to this virtual state of anarchy will be laid on the table and discussed. Before now, not all zones considered a national dialogue necessary.
Whilst this dialogue is ongoing, a national programme for the reduction of the illegal small arms and light weapons in circulation must be pursued as a matter of urgency. The easy access to these weapons plays a very significant role in the exponential increase in crimes. The alternative to this would be to allow all adult citizens to bear arms.
The Monarch stated with dismay deliberate attempt by the federal government to marginalise the Urhobo people, the fifth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria; “hence the calculated and well planned move to exclude the people of the area from the socio-economic and political scheme of things at all levels in Nigeria.
“In fact, the Urhobos are now endangered species. Currently, there is not a single minister, presidential aide/assistance, head of parastatal, board chairman of any agency from Urhobo; yet we are the fifth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. The situation is further worsened by the replacement of the only Urhobo DG of the National Lottery Commission, Mr Peter Igho”
He called on the Federal Government to address the “genuine concerns of the Urhobos in order to redress the inequitable distribution of political offices and opportunities given that the Urhobos contributed significantly to the electoral fortunes of Mr President.
He also alerted the nation on the very serious security challenge posed by the Fulani herdsmen to the South-South and Delta State in particular.
According to him, Incidents of rape, murder and robbery committed by the herdsmen are now rampant; stressing that Northern governments must be prevailed upon to provide grazing areas for their herdsmen as a matter of urgency.
On possible solution to growing security challenges in Nigeria, the Monarch noted that the government needs to tackle the causes namely, inequity, youth unemployment and massive poverty.
He however advised the Jonathan government to do more to market the Transformation Agenda to the populace, so as to encourage the people to buy-in into the programme and make it all-inclusive; saying that failure to do this would continue to have an adverse impact on the good intentions of the government.
The other solution to the growing insecurity is to address the instruments for tackling the effects, which are security architecture and operational doctrine. There seems to be a bastardisation of the Armed Forces operational doctrine.
Ararile warned that the current integration of the police into military operations no doubt affects their operational effectiveness and the police are worse for it going by the body counts.
“It appears the military is over stretched. If that is so, it may be necessary to consider recalling military personnel on reserve to free the police to do what they are trained to do”.

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