Clerics, Lawyers commend FG over re-introduction of WAI

​Some Clerics and Lawyers in Lagos on Sunday commended efforts by the Federal Government to reintroduce the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), to instil more discipline and orderliness into the public domain.

The clerics told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that if implemented positively, it would go a long way to help the young ones to imbibe the culture of discipline.

The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, urged the government to make use of the media aggressively, to sensitise the masses.

“It is commendable, but our prayer is that they will be able to implement it. They implemented aggressively during the Buhari/Idiagbon regime.

“But at that time, it was during military rule and it was more of cohesion, physical, brute force, but at least it affected us positively too and people became conscious.

“Unlike those days when they used the horsewhip, the situation of today does not call for such. So, they should make use of the media, both print and electronic, to sensitise the people aggressively.

“We are supposed to be disciplined, we are supposed to know how to queue orderly, we are supposed to keep our environment clean. It will be a positive thing if implemented positively,’’ he said.

Imam Lukmon AbdulRaheem , Senior Lecturer, Center for Entrepreneurship Development, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, said the planned reintroduction of WAI was a “welcome development’’.

“I think the declaration of WAI is a welcome development, if you look at the country today, we are ]grossly indisciplined in all facets of our

national life. But I will advise they work with NGOs, religious communities and schools so that the young ones would be able to imbibe discipline in their early lives,’’ AbdulRaheem added.

A lawyer and public affairs analyst, Mr Ademola Adewale, however noted that government would need more than mere sloganeering to wage a successful war against indiscipline and corruption in the country.

Adewale, who made the remark in an interview with The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the fight required clear-cut policies and visible action plans.

“Such policies should be backed by laws which are enforced in a transparent and objective manner, across board. “This is what I feel can bring decency and orderliness to our nation with the planned re-introduction of the War Against Indiscipline (WAI),’’ he said.

Another legal practitioner, Mr Ejile Okpe, also commended the planned re-introduction, noting that Nigeria had become “a society where all kinds of impunities have become the norm.

“The high level of indiscipline in our country has assumed alarming proportions.

Governments at all levels must first show respect for the laws of the land, so that its citizens can follow suit.

“WAI will work only if there is a holistic approach to its implementation. It worked in 1984 during President Muhammadu Buhari’s military era and nobody could question the high handedness exhibited by the military in its implementation then.

“Although Nigerians do not require kid gloves in the establishment of Law and orderliness, but then government must realise that the war can only be fought successfully within the limits of the law,’’ he said.

According to Mrs Ugochi Opara, another Lagos-based lawyer, the re-introduction of WAI would certainly be a welcome idea as the society has become so decadent and needed some re-orientation.

Opara stated that it would be a good development for the citizenry and would also bring about a new order in the society.

“The implication of WAI will be that our people and governments will have to become more civil and conscious of the law and people’s rights, just as we see in the civilised societies,’’ she said.

Opara said that the advantages of WAI will be orderliness in the society, mutual respect for one another, good self-esteem and the absence of disorderliness in public places.

In addition, she said that the re-introduction of WAI would also enhance respect for law and the rule of law.

Opara, however, noted that Government may now be compelled to spend the money it does not have at this time on WAI campaigns and the accompanying re-orientation drive.

“The Government would have to sponsor new bills and enact laws that will cover the operations of WAI and its agencies,” she added.

For Emmanuel Olu-Alade , also a legal practitioner, the reintroduction of WAI would be a positive step, adding that indiscipline was the root of corruption and the war against corruption in Nigeria was incomplete without a war against indiscipline.

“Urinating in public places, throwing parties in the middle of the road, dropping garbage by the roadside and other acts of indiscipline would be curbed,” he said.

Another lawyer, Mr Ita Oto, however, warned that the reintroduction of WAI at this point in time, would be of no serious impact to many Nigerians.

He noted that the country was now running a democratic system of government and not a military regime, where the right to dignity of the citizenry could be abused.

Oto recalled that the WAI Brigade of the early ‘80s acted like tyrants, adding that they flogged and humiliated people at will.

The lawyer said that how to eradicate poverty in the country, providing Nigerians with electricity, creation of employment opportunities for Nigerians of all cadres and the development of infrastructure, should now be government’s paramount concern.

“We do not need WAI now, but we need to be able for afford three square meals, and the economy should be much better than it is today, ” he stressed.

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