Delta State governor and Peoples Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate Ifeanyi Okowa said in Abuja on Thursday that the party was set to retake the governorship seat in the July 16 elections in the State of Osun.
Indeed, he criticized an initial proposal by his counterpart in Zamfara State, Bello Matagall, that residents of the state should carry guns to defend themselves against terrorists.
Okowa spoke to State House correspondents on Thursday evening shortly after meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at his office at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Asked about his party’s preparation for the upcoming Osun elections, he said, “A lot is being done. We look forward to the elections. I’m sure the APC would expect stiff competition. We agree that they are the ruling government in this state, but they will definitely expect very fierce competition from us. We are ready to take back this state.
On Matawall’s proposal to the citizens of the state to take up arms, he criticized the idea, saying that although born out of frustration, it would have significant consequences for the overall security of the region.
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“I think they need a critical mind because you also have to be able to look at the recommendations that are made. When recommendations are made and you haven’t fully thought through the consequences of those recommendations, that’s also a problem.
“It is out of frustration that such recommendations are made, no doubt. But when you ask everyone to carry arms, you have to ask yourself if Nigerians are in the frame of mind where every individual can carry his own weapon? You will be surprised that with every little argument, people choke.
“It is a source of concern when we hear this kind of recommendation. But the real thing is that people are frustrated and he (Governor Matawalle) is also frustrated insofar as he thinks this is the way to go. I don’t think that’s the best recommendation right now,” he said.
Okowa argued that with the biting insecurity, the government must address insecurity holistically, with a long-term strategy in mind.
“I think we have to start looking at a lot of other things. Yes, as a fast, he calls for that. But there will be consequences. But we need a long-term approach to dealing with insecurity. We have to look at the root of the problems we have. Lots of hunger, unemployment, lots of people losing hope. And when you look at all these problems, it brings a lot of frustration. So we need to approach it holistically,” he said.