“With the level of poverty in the country, insecurity will definitely prevail” – APC chieftain

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A former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that Nigeria would never be secure until widespread poverty is addressed.

The Lagos APC chieftain stated this on Tuesday while reacting to the launch of Amotekun, the Western Nigeria Security Network, launched by South-West governors in January.

The ex-minister, who joined APC from PDP in 2019, described the launch of the security outfit as “the best thing to happen in this country”.

According to him, central control on security in a very large area like and with the population of Nigeria cannot achieve the desired result.

Ogunlewe added that widespread poverty made the situation worse.

Reacting to Amotekun’s launch in an interview with Daily Independent, the ex-minister said, “It is the best thing to happen in this country.

“If you look at the statistics, the total number of people in the country, per square meter, how big the country is, and you also look at the number of policemen or military men, you will also discover that there is a wide disparity between these figures, and so it is impossible to have a central control on security in a very large area like and with the population.

“The level of poverty in the country, insecurity would definitely prevail in the circumstance. There are indices that would breed insecurity, poverty, unemployment, are some of them.

“When people are hungry, and there is no social security and the government is not concerned about the future of an average Nigerian, people would tend to help themselves to survive.

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“These things have happened in so many other countries and what they did was to decentralise security.”

Ogunlewe added, “In the country what we get is a very few stealing the wealth of the community so that the rest of the people are not benefiting, and the masses must survive, that is the danger.

“If these indices are not worked on, insecurity would continue to thrive in the country. A person that does not have future cannot possible determine what to do at old age, no housing scheme for the poor, no school, and they have to compete with the rich in private primary and secondary schools.

“In Lagos State there are 18,000 private schools while there are only 6,000 public schools and that is what is replicated across the country.

“So how does one think that an average Nigerian can cope with that kind of situation, other than cutting corners, take bribe.

“What is the total take-home pay of an average policeman? Some earn 15,000 per month, with no housing scheme, no school or healthcare facilities for the children.

“What we see is connivance between the bandits and the police. Nobody can dispute that because the amount of money they get from kidnapping is huge, and an average policeman may not refuse that kind of offer.”

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