The Governor of Delta State and vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday in Abuja, said the party was poised to take back the governorship seat in the July 16 Osun State election.
This was as he faulted an initial proposition by his Zamfara State counterpart, Bello Matawalle, that state residents should bear firearms to defend themselves from terrorists.
Okowa spoke to State House Correspondents on Thursday evening shortly after he met Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his office at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Asked about his party’s preparedness for the forthcoming Osun elections, he said, “A lot is being done. We look forward to the elections. I’m sure the APC would expect a stiff competition. We agree that they are the government in power in that state but they will be definitely expecting a very stiff competition from us. We are poised to take back that state.”
On Matawalle’s proposition for state citizens to take up arms, he faulted the idea, saying, though birthed out of frustration, it would have telling consequences for the overall security of the region.
“I think they need critical thinking because you have to also be in a position to examine the recommendations being made. When recommendations are made and you have not thought through it in full about the consequences of such, then it is also a problem.
“It is out of frustration that such recommendations are being made, not doubt. But when you ask everybody to carry guns, you must ask yourself, are Nigerians in the mindset where every single individual can carry his own gun? You will be surprised that with every little argument people will just snuff themselves out.
“It’s a cause for concern when we hear that kind of recommendation. But the real thing is people are frustrated and he (Governor Matawalle) is also frustrated to the extent that he thinks that is the way to go. I don’t think that is the best recommendation at the moment,” he said.
Okowa argued that with the insecurity biting hard, the government must address insecurity holistically, with a long-term strategy in mind.
“I think we need to begin to look into many other things. Yes, as a quick one, he’s calling for that. But there will be consequences. But we need a long-term approach to deal with insecurity. We need to look at the foundation of the problems that we have. A lot of hunger, joblessness, a lot of people are losing hope. And when you look at all these issues, it brings a lot of frustration. So, we have to address it holistically,” he said.