Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has highlighted the dialectical relationship between security and the economy, stating that neither of the two can thrive in the absence of the other.
Obasanjo stated this at the South East Economic Summit held at the Government House Enugu where he was the special guest of honour.
He said a bad economy would always lead to insecurity, which in turn, would militate against the growth of the economy, adding that no part of Nigeria would be secure if one part is a state of violence and insecurity.
He said: “You cannot have security if the economic well-being of your people is not taken care of; pure and simple. And if the security of your people is not taken care of, the economic progress of your people would be seriously diminished. If there is no security in any part of Nigeria there is no security in Nigeria”
The former president, who spoke on the topic, Sustainable Development and Zero Tolerance to Hunger, advised the governments of the states in the south east to look into areas in which they have comparative advantage and work towards the development of the economy.
“The South East Zone can be the food basket of the nation,” Obasanjo said, calling on the governors of the states in the zone to work towards improved agricultural production.
The former president said the South East Zone is endowed with human and natural resources that should be harnessed for the development of the states in the zone and challenged the governors to collaborate for the development of their states.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said that the component parts of the country needs one another for mutual prosperity, explaining that the outcome of the summit would rub off on other parts of Nigeria for mutual prosperity.
He said: “While the SEESS initiative may seem to be primarily devoted to the improvement of the lot of the South East Zone, it is in fact vicariously committed the welfare of the whole country and all its constituent zones. This is because the common destiny and interdependence of all the parts of this federation means that what happens in one part will inevitably rub off on the others for good or for ill.”
He said the summit was in recognition of the numerous challenges facing the people of the south east, pointing out that the problem of the zone revolves around poor infrastructural development.
The chairman of the South East Economic and Security Summit, Professor Barth Nnaji, called for the identification of the peculiar challenges facing the various components of the Nigerian nation with a view to addressing them.
He said if such challenges were “not coherently dealt with are likely to frustrate all levels of governments, developmental goals, objectives and strategies.”
Others who spoke at the summit were the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu and David Umahi of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi States.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in his speech, called on the federal government to rehabilitate the federal roads in the zone.
Among those who attended the summit were Nigeria’s former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, members of the National Assembly.”