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Hon. Benjamin Kalu who is Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, has called for improvement of social infrastructure and youth empowerment in the South East, as a means of bringing insecurity bedeviling the zone to an end.
Kalu, according to a statement made public by his special assistant on Media and Publicity, Levinus Nwabughiogu, stated this when he received the Resident Programme Director, International Republican Institute (IRI), Santiago Stocker, who was in his office on a courtesy call.
The deputy speaker said he was championing championing the Peace in South East Project (PISE) alongside his colleagues, as part of efforts to end insecurity in the region.
‘Let me also thank you for what you’re doing with regards to these identity crisis issues within various regions. It’s an issue but I believe some of these crises that we have, in some areas around the country could be resolved more with non-kinetic approaches. I believe non-kinetic approaches have not really being utilised to its fullness.’
‘But a deep dive in on the causes of all these issues, like you’ve mentioned, one is identity crisis, and finding a way to navigate around that may profile a sustainable solution to end the calling the military, the police, what are the sociological needs? Are there any sociological needs with regards to the causative factors around this issue? Did anything prompt you? Who can tell us? Is it infrastructure decay?
‘In my area, where I come from, some things they are saying; are that we are marginalised. We are not recognised. Are we part of this identity crisis? Are we part of Nigeria? We are not part of Nigeria? Why are they asking those questions? Is it that the infrastructure is not sufficient? If you go there, you find out for yourself that infrastructure is not sufficient. This is a fact. I couldn’t travel from one town to the other for 11 hours. I met about six feet pothole on federal road, six feet on a major highway. So, if you’re bringing your goods, you will not pass through three days to four days.’
‘It breeds frustration. It breeds confusion. It gives you a sense of alienation from the commonwealth that’s supposed to stimulate national cohesion, national loyalty. So, it depletes national loyalty. And once national loyalty is depleted, it affects national cohesion. And that is where you have the pockets of all those non-state actors. So, we should look into those areas and see what are the non-kinetic area solutions to it,’ Kalu said.