A former gubernatorial aspirant in Ogun State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Otunba Segun Showunmi has tasked the government of United States of America to deepen democracy in Nigeria by helping political parties build capabilities.
Showunmi made the call at a Congressional hearing on “Towards a US-Nigeria Policy” led by Congressman Adam Smith in Washington, United States where Nigeria came up numerous times and might be designated as a “Country of Particular Concern”.
Also in attendance at the gathering were Congressmen, Jacobs, Manning, Salazar, Hill, Wild, retired Congressman Frank Wolfe, Former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro among others.
The PDP chieftain added that the West should endeavour to treat crime as crime in Nigeria irrespective of their nature or the elements behind them, whilst also urging them (West) to strengthen the country’s policing capabilities in order to nip any crime in the bud and change the narrative of seeing Nigeria as a slaughter slab.
With strong clarity of thought and conviction, the Abeokuta born politician eloquently charged US Congressmen and other stakeholders to open Bond market such that Nigerians can raise money for long term investments in creating sustainable infrastructure as well as capacity building.
According to an excerpt exclusively obtained by Veracity Desk (veracitydesk.com.ng) from the high profile global platform, Showunmi was seen to have projected Nigerian image in good light while also offering workable solutions that can engender symbiotic relations among the two countries. His words:
“The West is not seeing Africa the way it ought to see it therefore there’re allowing people who don’t have very long historical relationships with Africa to step into the fray. America has long given us the beautiful idea called democracy they must insist that despite what the interest of the country, the partnership must be with the people and not the government of the country alone. Because by being in partnership with the government of the country there is nothing you haven’t seen in lost of vision and nothing you haven’t seen in the line you will not cross on behalf of your people.
“The country of the world and Nigeria cannot be allowed to hide underneath the idea of sovereignty to produce the kind of mess that now produces the domino effect we are all seeing.
“We also believe that asides the name you call it, ethnic, religious, ISSIS, Boko Haram, kidnapping, Cult-culture, , arguments around struggle for land and all that; the height of it is crime.
“There is no simpler way to deal with crime anywhere in the world whether in America, how much more in Nigeria without proper Police structure. So we believe that there is enough capacity for United States of America with intelligence and security to begin to now focus a little bit more on how to strengthen policing in Nigeria, because by strengthening policing is to give them capability to be there and take away the land and space where these non state actors have occupied already.
“There is no gain saying that once Afghanistan happens is only a matter of time that Libya will happen, there is no way you can stop it from happening in Nigeria, because of the population and people with similar faith and ideologies that are there, so there is enough space for them to hide. They have done that in the South of Limpopo, it’s going to eventually get to South Africa, its like a global problem.
“So for us its a bit sad that it appears that places like Ukraine and Russia are getting all the Western attention, whereas Nigeria is not getting enough attention, we need you to give us the needed attention and get stricter with our government.
“Another thing is that poverty is the height of it, and for us what we see is that the infrastructure deficits is large and Nigeria is a clear example. I think America and others have tried in dashing them money, handouts and all that, there is a new policy to doing it by opening up your bond market which has a long term funding. With long term funding they can help in fixing their own infrastructure and can obviously pay back because if its a bond.
“But you see the handouts are not working out, because they are grossly misappropriated. The money is too difficult for foreign governments to track like that except the one that missed it ways to the international communities, but what about the ones being diverted internally and not going to the purposes meant for ? The long term funding asides in helping us to build infrastructure it also helps to create capital for small upstarts, flutterwave for business, and few other companies are doing phenomenally well.
“There is a lot of energy in the country and you can attest to that, that the most productive immigrants in America today who are non Americans are Nigerians. I tell you they are not monkeys, they have the ability to cultivate value but they just needed to cultivate more value in their country.
“Another area where I want to talk about is democracy and the idea it represents. Yes, you see what America say and and what other partners do in terms of supporting the government to do their election, but I say there us need to do more. You need to strengthen the political parties themselves yo be able to build the kind of capacity they need to understand that democracy is an ideal and that ideal must be organically grown so that more people can participate.” Otunba Showunmi said.
See video & pictures below: