ABUJA—Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the Presidential candidate of African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, has outlined measures he will adopt to tackle issues on insecurity, dwindling economy, and poor power generation, if elected.
He spoke at a town hall series with presidential candidates in Abuja organised by the Arise Television; Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers, Premium Times, Daily Trust, Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE and Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ.
The town hall meeting featured three other political parties: All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Action Democratic Party, ADP; Social Democratic Party, SDP, Adewole Adebayo.
Addressing questions on measures to be taken to address insecurity particularly on recent attacks of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, offices in some states in Nigeria, Sowore said the major drivers of insecurity are: inequality, poverty and PPR intelligence system.
He, however, vowed to invest massively in eradicating poverty, and also address extreme inequality in the country.
He said: “I have divided the security problems in Nigeria into three. One is the usual enforcement, physical security. The second aspect of it is collection of intelligence, analysis of intelligence and execution of intelligence, but you can only collect intelligence if you have intelligent people running intelligence organisations.
“Nigeria has resolved the problem of inequality, hunger, poverty, before we can be talking about using guns. It has been known that countries that are doing well economically, usually, or rarely use guns because their citizens are happy when you’re not happy, and people have cheated over time you will not get a solution to this problem.
“We have to be proactive in ensuring that these crimes are caught before they happen and we have security agencies that are capable of dealing with security. Most importantly, you have a head of state that is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
“The reason why our security architecture is not effective, is part of what we have been saying when you put incompetent people to manage a country of 200 million people, which is not based on their experience or competence in these very important areas. The result you get is what we have now.”
On economy, Sowore said Nigeria’s economy issue is hinged on the revenue to Gross Domestic Product, GDP, adding that the country has failed to properly record her revenue generation correctly.
Among other things he promised that he would abolish the Senate Assembly, likewise halting all government sponsorship of pilgrimages in the country.
“We must discuss our revenue cum what we spend money on wastes. The amount of wastes in this country. I have said it and I repeat before Nigeria that I want to abolish the Senate so that we can use that money to take care of education.
“I will stop investing in irrelevant things. And with due respect, don’t come after me for saying it, I don’t want to spend a dime on pilgrimage. I’ll use that money to train our kids who are in school, and then ensure that we plug all the areas where corruption is happening now.
“I know and I have seen that oil is the product of the past, and very soon, those who have oil better get prepared to drink in it themselves because the rest of the world has moved on without oil. They’re creating vehicles being manufactured that don’t use any kind of oil”, he added.