2023 is here. Of topmost concern to Nigerians in the New Year as always is the issue of safety and security of lives and properties.
This is vitally important in 2023 as a country which is facing deeply crucial, very contentious issues including but not limited to another election cycle and the national census. Others include self-determination agitation such as the recent Ojota crisis, many assassination attempts on prominent Nigerians – former governors, clergymen, businessmen, among others – across the country, and senseless maiming and killing of security officers by nefarious members of society.
The President of National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), Oki Samson wants Nigerians from all segments of society to embrace ‘Nigeria First’ in how they address issues. This is ‘so that we would not set the country afire with our conduct and words’.
Oki said: ‘2023 is an all-important year by all standards for us in Nigeria. The elections, the census, among others are crucial to the welfare of all and sundry. We have to appreciate that peace and security is important like never before’.
‘Between last election cycle and this year’s, there has been about 50 attacks on INEC facilities. This includes during and post-elections, Endsars protest, unknown gunmen, etc. Must our elections lead to bloodshed? We have to do better in 2023.’
‘The recent Ojota crisis is quite unfortunate. Right in the middle of electioneering, self-determination agitations is still very high. Can you want to vote for leaders of a country that you don’t want to exist? When you kill people as you want to get the country, what becomes of your new country?’
‘Many Nigerians have simply closed their hearts and seen our men-in-uniform as enemies. This is not good for us. This people are our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents. They are been paid from taxes of citizenry. They are on the frontlines for us, they are on the streets for us. The Armed Forces, Police, DSS, NSCDC etc are not enemies.”
Noting that the task of security is everyone’s business, he pleaded with individuals and communities to respect and support personnel of security agencies in the discharge of their statutory responsibility. ‘You don’t respect someone and you expect him or her to be good to you? It doesn’t work that way. We have to show courtesy to our people this year. It will make our lives interesting and impactful. We all need each other.’
‘On the note of respect and courtesy, I celebrate our excellent Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; our intelligent Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, Chief of Naval staff Awwal Gambo, Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Director General of DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), CGI Idris Isah Jere, Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) among others.
‘I celebrate members of the Police Service Commission; Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG In Charge of Zone 2, AIG Bode Adeleke; the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Alabi, CP Delta, CP Ari Muhammed Alli, CP Railway Command, CP Yetunde Longe, CP Armament Force HQ Abuja, CP Adegoke Fayoade, Board Member of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Dr. Ayo Ogunsan, CEO/Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr. Abdurrazaq Balogun, Director Army Public Relations, Nigerian Army, Brig Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Force PRO, Nigeria Police, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi and other officers that are committed to the security of the nation.’
I also appreciate the Corp Marshal of FRSC, Dauda Ali Biu, the Service Spokesperson of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, National PRO of NSCDC, DCC Olusola Odumosu.
‘I trust that with God’s Grace, this 2023 will be safe, secure, and prosperous for Nigeria.’