What kind of nation leaves it policemen to die without help, after they were shot by armed robbers on active duty? What kind of nation would not have bed space for injured citizens at its only National Orthopedic Hospital? What kind of nation would demand honest police officers, when those officers have nothing upon which to desire honesty?
These questions become paramount as armed robbers wage a war on the police in Nigeria, killing 67 of them in three months, while those injured are immorally abandoned by the government, their employer. Nigerians like to make the police a punch bag of public decay, but here is one case where we can agree at once that the problem is probably not the police, but the government that cares not about the welfare of its own citizens.
The Citizens for Nigeria (CFN) has drawn attention to burning national issues in a widely-covered press conference held in Lagos, Nigeria. On top of the stack of issues outlined is public declaration of assets by political leaders. We asked President Olusegun Obasanjo to show leadership by making public his personal assets so that other leaders can take a cue. Assets of all Nigerian public officials are currently shrouded in secrecy, in the face of unchecked corruption and abuse of power.
The conference, held in Lagos by CFN's Director of Operations, Mr. Biodun Durojaiye, addressed issues, ranging from corruption, the conduct of elections and constitutional issues to media responsibility and party politics.
Here is how the newspapers reported the event: