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Chibok girls: Prisoners’ swap not sign of weakness –Odeyemi

By Zika Bobby

Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi is a security expert and  the President of the National Committee of Yoruba Youth (NCYY). He stressed the need to support the government and the military in the fight against insurgency.

There has been several apprehensions about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari, considering his recent decision to return to the United Kingdom on health grounds, what is your take on this?

As you may have known, the National Committee of Yoruba Youth is the Apex organization of Yoruba Youth groups, spread across the six states of the South-west and other Yoruba speaking parts of the country, and we have been at the vanguard of advocacy, campaign against insurgency and terrorism, and any issues that threatens corporate existence of Nigeria as a Nation. This question you have raised, borders on some of the issues that we have spent the last few weeks to sensitize our members and the general public on. I think the time has come for us, as Nigerians and lovers of democracy, to urgently address and arrest this growing concern that could undermine the unity and sovereignty of this great nation.

We are particularly worried as a people, that the threat to our corporate existence might not be from the now defeated Boko Haram insurgents, but the activities of some people that I view as tribal war leaders, ethnic jingoists, religious zealots and some overzealous self-acclaimed activists who feel that they can play politics with the health of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Like every other Nigerian I have read various inciting statements and attempts by these people to stampede the President out of office and I think the activities of these persons constitutes the greatest danger to our democracy. For the sake of emphasis, governance is ongoing in our country. The acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a competent man and key members of the cabinet are proving to be highly resourceful.

It is almost two years that the administration of President Buhari was inaugurated into office, what are the significant achievements that you have seen as a key observer of events?

Let me say firstly that my view may not represent that of the government because I am not an employee or appointee of the current administration. Yet, as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria I must say that the President Buhari’s administration has in the last two years struggled to put Nigeria back on its path to greatness. This we can see in the unprecedented successes being recorded in the war against corruption in the country. You will agree that the major factor that has been responsible for the underdevelopment of this country is the catastrophic proportion of corruption in our country. But today, the story is different. As a country, this government is saving, despite a fall in oil prices, this government is upgrading infrastructures at ten times, the rate we have at any time in the last 18 years.

The Buhari administration is plugging all loopholes through the Treasury Single Account and the administration has shown enough courage and effort to tackle unbridled corruption and insurgency in our country.

Only recently, there was a major breakthrough in the more than three years search for the abducted Chibok school girls, with the release of another batch of 82 of the girls, what is your take on this?

As a nation, we must appreciate the determination, focus and compassion of President Buhari and the leadership of our security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army, ably led by Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, which led to the recent release of the 82, of the abducted Chibok School girls. I also want to implore Nigerians, not to see the willingness of the government to negotiate and meet the terms that led to the exchange for the girls as a sign of weakness. Rather, it shows compassion on the part of the country’s leadership. Prisoner exchange is a known global practice by any nation, who values the lives of her citizens. We must equally appreciate the role of the Swiss government and other international agencies that have supported the Buhari’s administration to ensure that more of our Chibok girls are rescued.

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