The All Progressives Congress has said new imaginative thinking and not money is what is required to effectively tackle the Boko Haram menace.
The party said this on Tuesday, while reacting to the Federal Government’s request for the approval of the National Assembly, for it to collect a $1bn loan.
According to the party, the same old way of doing things, which is what the Federal Government’s $1bn loan request represents, will not yield the desired results.
This was contained in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Abuja.
The party said while it was not opposed to procuring modern weapons and other needs for the military, it was of the view that government should complement the military campaign against Boko Haram with political, social and economic measures.
This, it said, was even more so because a sustained military campaign dating back to 2009 has failed to end the crisis.
The statement partly read, “Between 2010 and 2014, a total of $14bn has been allocated for defence, security and the police. This year alone, the total sum is $14bn. Now, if $14bn has not clipped the wings of Boko Haram in five years, what difference can $1bn make if thrown into the crisis in the same old way?
“If the Federal Government has not accounted for how it spent $14bn allocated to the security, defence and police in the past five years, why should it be given the green light to borrow another $1bn? If the said $14bn has not done much in upgrading military and security facilities in five years, what impact can $1bn suddenly make? These are some of the questions we want the National Assembly to ask before giving the Federal Government the go ahead to plunge Nigeria into another round of external debts.
“Talking of new and imaginative thinking, it is generally agreed that the root causes of the Boko Haram crisis are deep in the years of bad governance that have created an army of unemployed youth in the North-East, which is the epicentre of the crisis.”
The party insisted that the years of bad governance contributed in no small measure to the army of uneducated and unemployable youths who have become willing tools in the hands of insurgents.
It also said years of bad governance also resulted in dilapidated infrastructure, lack of social amenities, inadequate schools and a total disconnect between the government and the governed.
The APC lamented that the same Federal Government, which allocated “a paltry, insulting N2bn” ($12.2m) for its misguided ‘Marshall plan’ for the North-East is asking for $1bn to buy new weapons to fight Boko Haram.
The party asked Nigerians to imagine what a substantial fraction of $14bn could do to the efforts to uplift the North-East, put children back to school, give the youth life-enhancing training and put the army of unemployed beyond the reach of the extremists, who recruit and indoctrinate them to kill, maim and destroy?
Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).
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