‘Set 17’ of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development Centre (LSD), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), says Nigeria will not be able to tackle insecurity until it addresses poverty.
Though the federal government has put soical investment programmes (SIPs) in place, many have argued that they are not effective in addressing the needs of the poor.
Speaking on Wednesday at a media briefing in Abuja, Ojoba Daniels, governor of the group, said many Nigerians are hungry and desperate, hence the reason they have taken to crime.
“We note with great concern, the worsening state of insecurity across the country, characterised by kidnappings, banditry, assassinations, among others,” he said.
“We also note the growing fear within the federal capital, arising from recent attacks in several parts of the city as well as threats from unknown sources.
“I believe one of the ways to tackle this problem is to go down to the grassroots. We have to take care of the grassroots because if there is poverty in the land, there is every tendency that it will lead to insecurity because anyone that wants to feed might do anything.
“They (the government) should focus on the grassroots and tell them that they can take care of them. If you don’t take care of those who are hungry in the land, insecurity will be there.
“While a nation cannot become a human capital without the four tangent areas of education, infrastructure, health, and agriculture, all of these cannot be achieved in the midst of insecurity.”
Daniels said as the country goes into the election season, citizens should look for candidates that have the capacity to deliver.
Aisha Mohammed, a member of the group, said Nigerians should do more on holding elected officials to account.
“Citizens should hold elected officers accountable. If a candidate comes and says they would do this and it is not done, with people talking about it, they would be forced to do it,” Mohammed said.
“We will get to a point that if you don’t have the capacity to work, you won’t run.”