Falana condemns kidnap of minister’s mother


Lagos lawyer and human right activist Chief Femi Falana has described the kidnap of Prof. Kanene Okonjo, mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as an embarrassment to the country and a signal that no one is safe in the country.
Falana, a Srenior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who was the guest lecturer at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council 2012 Press Week Lecture held at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, said with the successful kidnap of the 82 year old woman who was a queen, is a testimony that no one is safe in the country.
Speaking on the theme of the lecture titled: Nigeria’s Democracy and Insecurity: The Way Forward, Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) condemned Federal Government’s inability to provide adequate security for the people and their properties saying, “adequate security of the people should be the primary responsibility of the government.”
He berated the government for failure to unravel the mystery behind sponsors of the dreaded Boko Haram group. According to him, there has been horrifying experiences of Boko Haram and kidnap noting that the billions of naira being set aside for the Ministry of Defence for security of the country has not been genuinely utilized.
On the series of kidnap across the country, Falana attributed the root cause to the failure of the Federal Government to provide jobs for army of university graduates across the country.
“Large chunks of the nation’s population have been excluded from the commonwealth. There is hunger and abject poverty in the land. If the government continues to fail in providing jobs for the unemployed youths in this country, the nation would continue to experience all these social vices.
It is a total crisis that we are in. The media is too casual on publishing stories on kidnap. Lots of kidnapping is going on everyday but it was under reported by the press. I urge journalists to report social vices’ stories for the people to know where we are. Media should not engage in self-censorship for the people to know things have gone so bad in the country,” Falana said.
The Deputy Managing Director, the Sun newspapers, Mr. Femi Adesina who was the lead discussants at the event said there were some issues that created the insecurity in the nation. He explained the culture of impunity by government officials must stop, issue of joblessness must be address and the need to promote education through free and compulsory education for all Nigerians till age nine.
Adesina pointed out that for the country to move forward and experience stability there should be respect for rule of law by the leaders.


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