Text of speech Delivered by the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams at the One- Day Security Summit – Must read

Summit Speech

Being a Text of speech Delivered by the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams at the One- Day Security Summit holding today Thursday, January 11,2024 at Oluwalogbon House,By Coca-cola, Awolowo Way,Ikeja Lagos.

I welcome you all to this Summit.

It is interesting when you find yourself in a gathering like this where foreign security experts discuss issues that are of great importance to the growth and development of our nation.

On this note,I appreciate our foreign partners from Netherlands for their efforts in making this summit a reality.

I also appreciate all the teams that had worked relentlessly in ensuring that this summit is a success.

As we forge a new partnership,I want to assure you all that today’s summit will bring about a lasting solution to the various security challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation.

Let me begin by saying the fundamental duty of every government, anywhere in the world, is the protection of lives and property.

In the modern world, this can only be done effectively through intelligence gathering mechanism.

For any development to take place in any polity, evil must not be appeased.

It must be decisively dealt with and fought from all angles like the monster that it is. And this is where intelligence gathering comes in.

So, it is the duty of the government to ensure that the atmosphere is conducive for citizens because it is the citizens who will drive economic growth.

Obviously, there is insecurity in Nigeria because modern security and intelligence gathering mechanism has not been fully engaged by the government to protect the citizenry.

It is a no-brainer that the removal of security threats and securing Nigerians anywhere they may be in the country will ultimately drive and catapult economic growth and development.

And for this to happen, coordination among security agencies must be sustained.

Security agents must be driven by purpose, there must be commitment and there must be a sense of urgency to promptly tackle insecurity, anywhere it rears its ugly head.

So, the ‘clear and present danger’ of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other vices in the polity can be attributed to lack of intelligence gathering by the government.

And if this persists, it will be a mirage to think of economic growth in the country.

For years, insecurity has been in the land and up till today, it seems the government is still not ready to tackle this hydra-headed problem.

Recall that during the Muhammadu Buhari presidency, a traditional ruler, Oba Benjamin Osho, the Eleda of Eda Ile,in Ekiti East Local Government Area Ekiti state was kidnapped.The abductors demanded N20 million ransom.

A first class traditional ruler in Ondo State,the Onifon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, was killed between Akure and Owo by bandits.

In June 2019, Dayo Adewole, the son of the immediate past Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was kidnapped on his farm in Oyo. He was later rescued.

Dayo, a United Kingdom-trained Medical Biochemist, while narrating his ordeal, said he was forced to trek in the forest for 12 hours.

So, the existential threat in Nigeria is not only against people in the rural areas but educated ones.

Imagine the ordeal of Dayo who was trained in London but decided to open a farm at Iroko, a rural community in Akinyele Local Government of Oyo State.

How do we now encourage young Nigerians abroad to relocate to this country to help the economy when the government has not shown the courage to deploy intelligence gathering and modern security training and technology to secure them?

Also during the Buhari presidency, a presidential advance team was attacked in Katsina and even soldiers guarding the president were attacked in Abuja. Some of them were killed.

The Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja was attacked and some hardened criminals escaped.

Till today, some of them are still at large.

In 2022, a Kaduna-bound train from Abuja filled with passengers was attacked by terrorists and some Nigerians, including a young female doctor, were killed. Other passengers were abducted.

The terrorists even had the effrontery to release a video where they were flogging and torturing fathers, mothers and children.

I ask: what is the job of Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) and intelligence units of security agencies?

Is it a crime for Nigerians to move from one place to the other?

During the last Yuletide, hundreds of people were attacked and killed in Plateau State.

We have a situation in which hundreds of terrorists will gather, approach particular locations, kill people and disappear into thin air.

This is clearly a failure of intelligence gathering by security agents and this is what the Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidency must tackle headlong.

As the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, I know that more than 90 per cent of land in Yorubaland are capable of growing crops.

Our God-given land is arable. We are not a landlocked territory. It is a land filled with milk and honey.

God has really blessed Nigeria, and Yorubaland, both in human and natural resources.

While talented Nigerians can go abroad to showcase their talents and creativity, the challenge with land (nature) is that it is fixed in this geographical location.

But, how do we grow the economy and secure our people who are being kidnapped almost on a daily basis, if not through intelligence?

Look at The Netherlands, since there is nothing like banditry in the country because of a very strong and tight intelligence system, this small country is a leader in efficient and sustainable agriculture – and the second-largest exporter of agricultural goods in the world.

Its main industries are agriculture-related industries, oil and natural gas, metal and engineering products, electronic machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics and fishing.

It is one of the largest countries when it comes to the export of agricultural goods such as meat, dairy, eggs, vegetables and fruit.

In 2019, the Netherlands exported €94.5 billion worth of agricultural goods. That is a 4.6% increase on the €90.4 billion export figure for 2018.

But, look at Nigeria. Our land mass is 923,768 kms and 78% of the land is used for farming.

Our population is said to be more than 200 million, with Yoruba population in the range of 60 million.

So, it can be argued that although Nigeria depends heavily on the oil industry for its budgetary revenues, our country is predominantly still an agricultural society.

Approximately, 70 per cent of our population engages in agricultural production at a subsistence level and agricultural holdings are generally small and scattered.

But, what do we get out of all these gigantic landmass and population?

If a small country like The Netherlands could export €94.5 billion (about N90 trillion) worth of agricultural goods in one year, you can imagine what Nigeria and Yorubaland are losing every year, due to the inefficiency of government in combating banditry/terrorism through intelligence gathering.

Kidnapping for ransom is already creating fear all over the country and if our people can no longer go to farms or travel through the highways, our economy will be affected.

We must wage intelligent war against kidnapping and the time for that fight is now.

For any development to take place in any polity, evil must not be appeased. It must be decisively dealt with and fought from all angles like the monster that it is.

As it is being done in other climes, the Tinubu administration has no choice than to deploy intelligence and modern security network to tackle insecurity in the land.

This is the only way Nigeria’s economic growth can be realised.

The principal task of security agencies is to defend the state against threats to its national security.

And any threat to the economic growth of a country is also a threat to national security. Since those threats could be covertly organised, the service needs intelligence to counter these agents of darkness.

A large part of success in security operations lies in inter-agency cooperation and coordination.

Obviously, this is still lacking in Nigeria as security agencies, at times, are seen working at cross purposes.

To drive Nigeria’s economy, security agencies must work harmoniously to achieve the same goal.

What imperils security anywhere in the world is, partly, inter-agency rivalry and the absence of coordination.

This is the time for security agencies in the country to ensure proper coordination of intelligence gathering mechanism aimed at achieving a sole purpose: economic growth and national security.

Thank you for listening; God bless you all.

Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams

Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland

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