John Campbell, Former US Ambassador to Nigeria Berates Nigerian Military

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John Campbell, Former US Ambassador to Nigeria Berates Nigerian Military
Nwolu Obiajulu

John Campbell a former Ambassador to Nigeria has said that Nigerians have lost faith in the sincerity of government.

He chided the approach of Nigerian government and politicians, claiming the welfare of citizens have never formed the basis of governance in Nigeria.

He made the remark at an interactive session on insecurity organised by SaharaTv over the weekend.

Campbell expressed lack of faith in the ability of the country’s military to be transparent and accountable in its dealings.

He said, “The lack of confidence and faith amongst many Nigerians in the institutions of government is very worrisome.”

The US envoy said politicians in Nigeria have been known not to be accountable to the people who elected them to power. He attributed it to the inability of the country to make measurable progress despite huge budget for defense.

“This culture feeds directly into corruption and institutional weakness,” the former ambassador said.

Campbell stressed the need for restructuring in Nigeria so that the institutions are accountable to citizens.

“There is no formula to restructuring, all that is needed is for the people to sit, think, look for what will work for everyone and create a strategy,” he said.

In her speech, Aisha Yesufu, rights activist and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls movement, stated that government in Nigeria had failed to secure the lives and property of its citizens.

 

She said Nigerians allowed the government to get away with the neglect of their duties.

She said, “The Nigerian government has not only failed the Nigerian people, but they have also failed themselves. You see the impunity, disregard and disdain for Nigerians. They can get away with it because we are a nation of people who are ready to allow them to abdicate their responsibilities.”

Ossai Ojigho, Country Director, Amnesty International in Nigeria, prescribed equity, fairness and justice as panacea to achieving sustainable development in the country.

She added, “The government says we are one, but they do not address the divisions and the dissatisfaction that the people harbour towards themselves. They deliberately set the narrative of difference to push a certain agenda.”

In his remarks, Dr Kole Shettima a public scientist, stressed the need for persistent push to hold institutions accountable.

“We have significant structural problems and constitutional problems. We need to challenge the constitution. I believe that we have to challenge it in different ways and manners to protect the little spaces that we have.

“Part of the strategy is to empower individuals and even some state governments to challenge powers at the centre.

“If many of our state governors become president of Nigeria, we are probably going to be in the worst situation than we have found ourselves because of the way they have been behaving and trampling on the rights of people,” he said.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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