Bankole chides Ekwueme, Achebe, Anyaoku over Anambra crisis

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, Wednesday accused Anambra State leaders of thought and the nation’s political leadership for keeping mute over the lawlessness in the state. The Speaker also wants securitymen to put a code on Nigeria’s crude oil for it  to be detected when stolen. Bankole stated this at a lecture, entitled:  “Towards Effective Budgetary Provisions for the Realisation of the Security Component of the 10-Point Agenda.”

It was for participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 2 at the Institute of Security Studies, Bwari, Abuja.

“According to the 1999 Constitution, the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria is the responsibility of the state.

“But when the security of state degenerates, lawlessness and insecurity takes the centre stage,” he said.

“In Kaduna, when I made this statement, I also mentioned Anambra State. And, I am sure as leaders; we have been exceedingly unfair to that state.

”And, I ask that, where are those Nigerians of Anambra extraction that have made their names at home and abroad, like Professor Chinua Achebe, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; how come they are silent as leaders of international repute when Anambra burns?”, he charged.

“I must confess that some time last week, I got a message from Prof. Achebe inviting me to Bryan University in Rhodes Island, state of Massachusetts, United States of America.

”I was to come and dialogue with a panel of international reputable personalities about the US and development about Nigeria and Africa.

”That is the kind of challenge we require to begin to proffer solution to our problems,” he said

Bankole noted that, almost half of  our crude oil in the international market is stolen through bunkering.

“If it is to be assumed that our oil reserves is to last for a hundred years, it will now be shortened to 50 years because they would have stolen 50 per cent f it,” he stated.

“Coding is the possible answer to the menace of illegal bunkerers,” he said, adding that, “if the coding is done as was the case of “blood diamonds” in then war-torn Sierra Leone, its origin can be easily traced to Nigeria’s crude at any refinery all over the world,” he said.

“I challenge all security agencies in Nigeria to brainstorm on how to achieve this as it is a security issue with implications for the nation’s economic development and the security of the Niger Delta,” he said.