Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate Prince Adewole Adebayo has claimed there is a government caucus against the successful ending of insecurity in the country because its members benefit.
At a press conference in Abuja on Friday, he noted that there is a convergence of interest between those who create uncertainty and those responsible for solving the problem.
He explained that insecurity is one of the five problems facing the country and which he had a plan to end if elected.
He says uncertainty is “the most embarrassing, the most irritating, and the most dangerous if we don’t do anything about it.”
Analyzing the various forms of insecurity in the country, the presidential candidate said: “At the same time, there is a caucus within the Nigerian government that believes that insecurity is an opportunity to spend money.
“And that if the insecurity increases, you spend money on internal security. So when you go around the country you see purely theatrical checkpoints where you can say ‘I deployed 200,000 men’ even though all the men below you are not up to 20,000.
“So you collect all the money, the food allowance and all that. Maybe they’ll think, ‘Oh, I’m not killing anyone,’ but by allowing the insecurity of increasing such a steady income, they’re actually contributing more to the problem than they’re solving it.”
Adebayo noted that the “artificial poverty we are experiencing in the country is because a lot of our resources … the government pretends, I don’t think the government can be that powerless, the government pretends it has no control over our maritime resources.
“So ships, heavy ships run by international companies that are known and have their own government, come to our country and take millions of barrels of crude oil with them.
“So, at a time when our currency should be very strong when the oil price rises, we have no income.
“Those are the areas I will cover. How am I going to deal with them is to make sure that when I go to the State House you don’t bring special interests and people who are not loyal to the country into your government, because that’s where the problem lies.
“Because the way the system works according to my observation since 1999 to some extent, to some extent, somehow does not change the permanent government. When a president’s term ends, he goes…whether he loses or wins, whoever comes in, the permanent interest remains the same in the State House.
“And the presidency is designed to work against the president. The essence of the presidency is to limit access to the president, limit information to the president, and limit his radius of action.
“So before we even go into the presidency at all, all the 5,000 appointments we have to make, we think about people, whether they are involved in our politics or not, who we know, who we associate with, we know these people have genuine concern for the country, they’re experts in the aspects that we’re dealing with, whether it’s dealing with terrorism, or dealing with kidnapping, any of these areas.
“I have to say I’m not too concerned about dealing with these problems because 80 to 90 percent of the time the solutions are obvious. But the special interests have to exhaust the budget.
“Because how do you have a department that can spend $30,000 and solve a problem, but you have a budget of $3 million? Are they going to fix the problem with $30,000 and return the rest of the money?
“What happens to all the women and families who travel to Dubai, all the houses that people around the world buy? So those are the things that make it look as formidable as our armed forces, they look like they can’t handle this problem.
“It seems there is a convergence of interest between those who create uncertainty and those in charge of it.”
The SDP presidential candidate said his government will act differently to solve the country’s problems, including declaring its assets before the election.
According to him, “If I want to make a difference, I have to immediately stop almost everything people already do and I have to stop everything they do badly.
“First, even before the election, if you’re dealing with transparency, a good presidential candidate must first disclose his assets for research. You don’t wait until you’ve won the election, because then it’s too late. You’re going to give it to a silent agency that will say we can’t release it for legal reasons.
“I think it’s a challenge. I had that deal with SERAP and SERAP challenged all the presidential candidates that Prince Adebayo says that “we all need to make our assets public so the public can know who we are, how we got where we are now and all of that.”
“I’m waiting for the time. No one except (Omoyele) Sowore has accepted it. The others are absent. So I’m thinking of waiting until about October 1 or thereabouts. If no one comes, we will invite the media and make that disclosure.”
On the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), he said he will sever relations between the federal government and tertiary institutions by making them accountable to their governing boards.
“You don’t need the federal government to control the universities,” he said.
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN STAND