Lagos, Nigeria – On Friday, January 31, Legit.ng, Nigeria's leading digital media and news platform, hosted a discussion attended by over 2400 youths and Nigerian governance observers.
The event titled "Corruption or Insecurity: Priority for the Federal Government in 2024" took place on Legit.ng's X Space. It focused on the nation's state and the government's role in stabilizing Nigeria. The main topic of discussion revolved around the new Nigerian government’s priority and its response to rising insecurity while the battle against corruption picks up.
The panel of discussants included:
Senator Shehu Sanni, former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Human Rights Activist;
Hamzat Lawal, Policy Analyst, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE), and Social Accountability Movement – Follow the Money International;
Inibehe Effiong, Public Interest and Human Rights Lawyer;
Rahaman Abiola, Editor-in-Chief, Legit.ng;
James Ojo, Moderator, Copy Editor, Legit.ng.
Setting the stage for the evening conversation, James Ojo mentioned that the two major pillars of focus formed the basis for the majority’s voting decision post-Jonathan Goodluck era.
Responding to the moderator’s opening question on what the government’s priority should be, Rahaman Abiola, Editor-in-Chief, of Legit.ng said:
“The topic of discussion is a germane one and it is great that Legit.ng has brought this up, considering how we have all witnessed the effects of both conversation pillars. Both are critical priorities for the government because each presents its own challenges and implications.
Corruption undermines the trust in government institutions and affects economic development, while also fostering impunity. On the other hand, insecurity poses a direct threat to the peace and safety of the nation, and we have seen firsthand how this undermines economic growth, especially with respect to foreign interest and investment in the country.”
Rahaman has also appealed to the government to prioritize the tackling of insecurity, which can create communal violence and plunge the nation into darkness.
Speaking to the subject matter, Senator Shehu emphasized the need to trace the nation’s problems to the source:
“The first way to analyze this is to review where we are coming from, where we are today, and where we are going to. We come from a past that has delayed eight years of our lives. During the last administration, impunity was the order of the day. Officials were converting money from the treasury into their pockets, and Service Chiefs who had sworn to fight insecurity were getting promoted, with tenures extended despite the state of insecurity.
While it is tempting to blame the new government, comparatively, what the army and police are doing today to combat insecurity, is far better than what the past administration did. This shows that the Government might be on the right path, by combating insecurity.”
The Senator stated that despite all this, Nigerians do not do half measures as they expect a complete restoration of law, peace, and order in the country. He stated that while it might be too early to judge the government in the first six to seven months of governance, the citizens should not be complacent.
Catherine Tomosori, Legit.ng's PR Manager, emphasized the importance of discussing governance and setting priorities should the government lose focus on what is important. She said:
“Dialogues like these are crucial for holding the government accountable and ensuring stability for the nation. At Legit.ng, we are committed to leading the way in news by raising awareness about issues that plague the people and the nation.”
Other X opinion experts in the media, economy, and public policy were also present to listen and actively participate in the conversation: Sunday Elom, Journalist at Sahara Reporters, Dr. Ambrose Igboke, Chairman, Guild of Public Affairs Analysts of Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter; and Victor Enengedi, HOD, Business Desk, Legit.ng joined the conversation to contribute their thoughts to the subject matter.
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