President Bola Tinubu and other ECOWAS leaders should stop making empty threats while dealing with issues concerning the region, a former Minister of Education and former Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, advised on Tuesday.
He also called on the Federal Government to be transparent and sincere in its approach in solving the incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Adeniran, a former member, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, stated these in an interview with journalists during the public presentation of two books written by him titled, “Some Thoughts on Education in Nigeria” and “Policy Making and International Security” published by Caltop Publications (Nigeria) Limited.
The ex-diplomat was reacting to the spate of coup d’etat spreading across the continent and planned military invasion of Niger by ECOWAS.
According to him, ECOWAS leaders must be proactive by thinking ahead, stressing the need for the regional leaders to be realistic.
He said, “Well, my advice to ECOWAS is that before situations arise, they should be proactive by thinking ahead and when they are thinking ahead, they should also be realistic. It doesn’t pay to make threats that are not credible. If you cannot fulfill, you do not make threats.
“One other thing that is important here is that ECOWAS should pay a lot of attention to good governance. They are shy. They are not ready to tell the various member countries the truth about what is going on.
“When there are certain shortcomings, where we do not have enough commitment to the welfare of the people, they should be bold and courageous enough to let those involved know because it is of collective interest to have stability, security and above all, to have development that will improve quality of life of citizens.
“Then, at the national level, my advice would be that each of the members should go back to the drawing board and have a dialogue with their various constituents, then come up with a constitution that will be able to drive development and improve the quality of life of citizens which will also enable them to govern effectively. By this, they won’t turn themselves into little emperors. What this means is that there is a need for our leaders to revisit their approaches to governance.”
Speaking on the incessant strikes by ASUU, Adeniran maintained that there was no problem that could not be solved if the parties involved in the negotiation process are sincere, transparent, and committed.
While responding to a question on how the government can end its protracted face-off with ASUU, the former Minister believed that education must be given the right attention, adding that both government and lecturers must see themselves as Nigerians and patriots first during negotiations.
He said, “The ASUU strike occupies a whole chapter in my book which goes into the genesis and what it will take to resolve the incessant and I believe is resolvable. There is no problem that cannot be solved, if we are sincere, transparent, and committed. I believe very much that once we regard education, give it as much attention as possible, support it adequately, and give education the right orientation in this country, we will be able to solve so many problems, even the security problems
“I believe that we are going to solve this question of kidnapping, and banditry and some other things when we generally resolve and resort to building a genuine and true nation, whereby we cater for the needs of everybody.
“How do we really solve these strikes? I believe that so many agreements have been reached with the government on quite a number of issues. There is a need to sit down and revisit them. When the two parties are transparent and they are sincere, they will be able to solve the problems. There are certain agreements that have been reached even today, which have become difficult to implement. Let all these issues be discussed. One thing is we usually operate from adversarial positions and comments from time to time.
“During negotiations, parties look at one another, not as the same citizens and nations committed to the same goals but as opponents and enemies which is wrong. We should all put the interests of the country first.”
Adeniran said he wrote the books as part of his contribution to the development of Nigeria.
At the event, a former Military Governor of Bauchi and Kano states Maj-Gen Chris Garuba (retd), who wrote the foreword of one of the books ‘Policy Making and International Security’, said that the Security Council is arguably the most important of the six organs of the United Nations established under the UN Charter.
According to him, that is because international peace and security are the raison d’etre of the UN, considering that the organization itself was birthed in October 1945 after World War II to promote international peace and security.
He said, “In the execution of its mandate of maintaining international peace and security, the UN spends huge sums of money annually. In the current period of July 2022, to June 2023, an expenditure budget of a whopping $6.45bn was devoted to the 12 active peacekeeping missions around the globe.
“The UN is eminently aware that some situations that initially appear like internal security matters international soon security balloon into challenges. Enlightened nations also are aware that national (local/internal) security policies of countries would ultimately have implications on international security. That is why nations keep an eye on what others are doing with their internal security,” Garuba said.