Most associations in Nigeria exist to protect criminals – Senator Na’Allah

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Senator for Kebbi South, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah says many fora and associations in Nigeria exist mainly to shield criminals from getting the justice that they deserve.

Na’Allah, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Air Force, further noted that Nigeria has continued to experience security challenges because tribalism and religion get in the way of justice.

According to him, many Nigerians get away with abhorrent behaviours that they dare not replicate in many other countries, including neighboring nations such as Benin Republic, Togo, among others.

“Let us be honest and sincere. We have grown used to doing things the wrong way, that we have become unable to understand what is right.

“I can with every degree of responsibility say that we are more of a lawless society than a society governed by the rule of law.

“People know that they can do a lot of things and get away with it. So you don’t even know the level of criminality you can commit and get away with it.

“It all depends on who you know. This is where we are as a nation. But if there is commitment that shows that the low, the high and the mighty cannot escape the net of the law, most of these things will be reversed,” Na’Allah told Sunday Vanguard.

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Asked if political will on the part of the leadership could help reserve the trend, the Kebbi South senator said, “All I know is that what is happening in Nigeria is unique. It can never happen in many other countries. Can you do what you are doing in Niger or Republic of Benin and get away with it? The answer is no.

“Why it is possible in Nigeria? I will tell you. In Nigeria, the only person who is a criminal is a person without tribe or religion.

“Whether he is in office or out of office, if you have a tribe or religion and you commit an offence and you are to be tried under the laws of the land, the tribe will say ‘he is being tried because he is a Yoruba man?’

“If you have a religion and you do something wrong even when everyone knows it is wrong, the religious people will say ‘he is being tried because he is a Christian or Muslim’.

“Unless you don’t have a religion or tribe, that is when you can be a criminal but when you know any of these people (religion, tribe), nothing can happen to you.

“Check, there is no country in the world that has the number of forums and associations we have in this country. There is union and forum for anything and everything in this country all in a bid to provide protection for criminals.

“And until you reverse that, you cannot have a country you can successfully govern. It does not matter who is there, whether it is President Buhari or another person, no person can run any society without the enforcement of rule of law. So we need the commitment and the political will to get there.”

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