Daniel: Gaza War Casualties Less than Nigeria’s Daily Records
By Olawale Olaleye
A former Ogun State governor and member, All Progressives Congress (APC) Contact and Strategy Committee, Mr. Gbenga Daniel, yesterday, said the level of insecurity in the country has become unacceptable, adding that the casualties recorded in the recent war between Israel and Palestine on Gaza was not as much as the casualties recorded daily in Nigeria.
Speaking with select journalists in his office in Lagos, he dismissed the alleged secession bid for Yoruba nation, saying the South-west people would prefer a Nigeria, where there was equity, justice and fairness than breaking away.
Daniel said there was a whole lot to do about security, adding that, “some of us are still asking questions. “I agree that the level of insecurity has reached an unacceptable level.
“Without admitting that we are in a state of war, the level of casualties we are seeing is not different. The number of casualties in the Isreali/Gaza war is not close to what we record here on a daily basis.”
Daniel disclosed that the last time he was at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, he raised the issue of insecurity with a staff of President Muhammadu Buhari, who assured him that there were plans to tame the scourge.
He, however, advised the political class to rally round the government of the day and put aside their differences.
“When a country is in a state of insecurity, the solution is to join hands to find solution and not engage in political sloganeering,” he said.
On the purported secession agenda of the Yoruba people, Daniel explained that, “The entire Yoruba nation is united and they know what they want out of this nation. “Ordinarily, no one wants to pull out of Nigeria and our people are united in their aspiration. What is different is the level of expectations,” stressing that the extremists advocating session also thought their approach was the best.
“Our people are looking for a Federal Republic, where there’s equity and fair-play. Some people have said the constitution is the problem hence the moderates feel the constitution can be rewritten. Nobody wants a state, where he is treated as a second class citizen. Constitution amendment is tough – a tall order – but doable,” noting that, the National Assembly should do the needful in that respect.
The former governor, who newly joined the ruling party, also addressed the issue of zoning.
He said he used to think zoning was a lazy concept, “but we’ve since found out that Nigeria is unique hence in all things, we must factor that uniqueness into account. Zoning, if possible, should be in the constitution. Zoning should be encouraged. Fair is fair.”
He backed the southern governors on their recent position on the open grazing.
Daniel said, “The governors are our elected representatives and I stand with their resolutions. They are in a better position to know. The best we can do for our leaders is to solidarise with them,” adding: “battles can be opened from different flanks, but we must always put on our thinking caps and provide responsible leadership.”
On the economy, Daniel, who boasted as having uncommon ideas on how to turn the country around stated that, “The bulk of our problem as a nation can be resolved economically. We have enough resources to resolve most of our problems with minimal borrowing. The bulk of our expenditure has not been planned to remain in our country.
“If there are efforts to achieve that, then, we would be out of our economic quagmire. We didn’t borrow a dime in my eight years in Ogun State. There’s a difference in borrowing and owing arrears of gratuity and pension.
“Our only attempt was frustrated politically, and when it was resolved and the money was ready, I said we are no longer taking it. In terms of economy, I have radical views on how to go about it. Managing the Nigerian economy is the easiest thing to do,” he added.