Poverty, unemployment, ethnic, religious prejudice, out of school children, amongst many others, have been identified as major drivers of insecurity in the South-south geo-political zone.
Stakeholders and security experts stated this at a virtual stakeholder meeting organised by Cleen Foundation on Tuesday in Abuja.
The meeting, which consisted of stakeholders from the six South-South states, proffered solutions to the security challenges faced by the zone.
Saviour Akpan, the executive director of Compart Foundation for Justice and Peace-building, noted, “The various state governments need to address pressing issues like poverty, unemployment, failure or collapse of governmental institutions, feeling of inequality, marginalisation, unfairness, and injustice.”
Mr Akpan added that the government should tackle ethnic prejudices, religious conflicts, weak or inadequate security system, lack of appropriate equipment and technology to fight crime, weak intelligence gathering mechanism, and the loss of Nigeria’s value system.
Roibito Ekpiken-Ekanem, Executive Director, Women in Action for Positive Development and Gender Enhancement Centre (WAPDAGEC), called for versatile leaders with a broad perspective and in tune with the times.
She added that leaders must be “reasonably aware” of the modern demands of technology in solving societal problems and not using the same for mere sloganeering during political campaigns.
Ms Ekpiken-Ekanem urged Nigerian leaders to be “compassionate leaders who are sensitive” to the needs and aspirations of the poor and needy.
“To tackle insecurity, we need leaders whose words count and can be counted on; leaders with courage, who are accountable and can be trusted to face challenges without pandering to interests that are inconsistent with state goals,’’ Ms Ekpiken-Ekanem explained.
She urged the state governments to take deliberate steps to ensure transparent and accountable governance that focuses on the needs of the people, with the people as role players too.