Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed Nigeria.
The senior lawyer stated that Buhari has failed in his three policies, which he campaigned on and won in 2015: economy, security, and anti-corruption.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria spoke at a human rights lecture in Abuja organized by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on the topic: Nigerian School Children; Insecurity and Human Rights.
He stated that many children are unable to attend school, and that more than 70% of school-age children in Nigeria are not enrolled.
According to him, from Jangebe to Chibok, and from Dapchi to Kaduna, over 700 schoolchildren have been kidnapped between December 2020 and today, with some of them being killed or forced into marriage.
“They were abducted from their schools, not in the woods. The situation became so tense in Kaduna that the kidnappers demanded bags of rice, vegetable oil, salt, beans, and other condiments to cook for their children until they received enough money to release them on ransom,” Ozekhome lamented.
He went on to say that Nigeria is currently a failed state that cannot even be called a country, citing non-state actors such as Boko Haram, bandits, and other terrorists as having sufficient power to challenge the government.
“Does that count as a country?” Do any of you who have children who live in hostels or dorms sleep with your eyes closed? Not knowing when they’ll strike next? He inquired.
When President Muhammadu Buhari ran for this position…
I like my President, but I disagree with his leadership style and policies.
“Politics that have resulted in Nigeria’s impoverishment. Policies that have pushed Nigeria past India as the world’s poorest country. Policies that have helped Nigeria, which was the largest economy in Africa until 2015, overtake South Africa and become one of the world’s seven fastest growing economies.
“His triangular policies focused on the economy, security, and anti-corruption. The bad news is that he has failed miserably in all of them.
Right now, security is deteriorating… People were able to vote for him in 2015, despite Boko Haram’s presence, and he won in the North East, demonstrating that, while Boko Haram existed, it was not so prevalent as to prevent people from voting.
“Boko Haram has graduated and is now strutting around like a proud peacock. Kidnapping has become the norm as armed banditry has increased. He has failed in security.
“In economic terms, as I’ve already stated, we are now the world’s poverty capital. What about anti-corruption efforts? Check it out: we are 168th out of 180 countries covered by Transparency International.
“We are the third most corrupt country in West Africa. So, how has the President and his administration aided Nigeria? I challenged Nigerians on television and in my article that anyone who can carry the Holy Quran or the Holy Bible, or if you’re an atheist, pick up a piece of Sango Iron and say their lives are better off today than they were in 2015.
“I challenge the individual to a national debate, but no one has taken up the challenge because everyone knows something is wrong. It can be heard by the deaf, spoken by the dumb, seen by the blind, and felt by the numb.
“So it doesn’t matter if you’re in the APC, PDP, APGA, Labour, Zenith, or PPA. Hunger has no regard for strike, religion, or nationality. The truth is that things are bad for everyone, whether they are Muslims or Christians, atheists, old men, women, youth, or children.
” Things are bad, and they could get worse unless Nigerians band together and return to the drawing board. Some argue that Nigeria is a failing state, but I disagree. I don’t agree with you.
“With all due respect, I would say Nigeria is a failed state. Do you understand why? It is because one of the most telling signs of a failed state is when non-state actors such as Boko Haram, kidnappers, and armed bandits have effective and proportionate powers to match state actors such as security forces. That constitutes a failed state.
“When Boko Haram, bandits, and kidnappers start telling the government, ‘This is what we want,’ Taking over lands and planting flags, as Governor Zulum of Borno State and Bello of Niger State have cried out that they have planted flags in some lands in their States; they are demanding taxation; they issue identity cards and pass to people to pass.
“We don’t need any more proof of a failed state. It’s not about liking or disliking a government; it’s about stating the facts as they are. Please, Nigerians, return to the drawing board. Bring as many helicopters and fighter jets as you can, because the problem is far more widespread than you can see.
“Because it appears insecure on the surface, but beneath it is what we call social injustice and a lack of egalitarianism…
Nigeria is wobbly, gobbling, and fumbling because Lord Lugard did not neatly package it on January 1, 1848.
“It all began on January 8, 1897, when Lady Flora Luise Shaw published an article in the Economic Times in which she gave Nigeria the name “Niger Area.” We also agreed to live together. And if we agree, let us live together in harmony and peace. Let us not always say, ‘Nigeria is indivisible; it is unbreakable.’ We don’t say it with our mouths; we nurture it. Pakistan and India were once one country, as were Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well as Sudan and Southern Sudan. So you can’t just say it; you have to nurture it.
“We need peace and social justice… We’re talking about the kind of peace and social justice that exists. Chief M.K.O Abiola delivered a sermon… Let’s restructure and reengineer Nigeria. Let us write a new charter for ourselves. A constitution that is indigenous, owned by the people, respected by all, and legally binding.
“Not the constitution imposed by the General Abdusalam Abubakar government as they returned to the barracks. How many of you are aware that Nigeria held elections in 1999 without a constitution? Nigerians did not create the constitution, but even if we do, Section 14 of that constitution states that the primary purpose of the government is to provide welfare and security for the people; do we have it?”