Boris Johnson delivers keynote speech in Lagos saying he believes Nigeria will defeat insecurity

FORMER British prime minister Boris Johnson  has expressed optimism that banditry and terrorism will be defeated in Nigeria in the near future and normality will return to the country with law and order prevailing once again.


Speaking at the 16th Anyiam-Osigwe lecture series titled Re-humanising human experience: A synopsis of Anyiam-Osigwe’s treaties, Mr Johnson said safety is paramount. At the event, which held at the Marriot Hotel, in Ikeja, Lagos, he pointed out that the UK too once had a problem with terrorism nut eventually overcame it.


Mr Johnson said: “The first and most important thing that makes a country thrive is that it has to be safe. You have got to have equality under the law because that is the foundation for freedom.


“I know some of the problems that are faced in this part of the country but I know that these bandits and terrorists must and will be defeated and eventually, law and order will prevail. I also want you to know that the UK stands ever-ready to help.


“We, in the UK, have had our issues with terrorists in the past and I am proud to say that London is one of the safest cities in the world. Whoever you are, you will receive the same scrutiny and protection in the UK and this is the most important thing. It is a precondition for economic growth.


“The next freedom is the right to choose those who govern you and the right to remove them from office. It is called democracy and it is precious and under attack the whole time."


He added that Vladimir Putin attacked because he could see that the Ukrainians were choosing a different path. According to Mr Johnson, they were going through with a different democratic system than what was permitted by Russia.


Mr Johnson added that President Putin does not practice a democratic system and he surrounds himself with sycophants, so has no democratic checks and balances. he then stressed that the third and crucial condition for releasing human potential is that you need a society that is open.


“The UK has a population of about 66m and Nigeria has over 200m and still growing, how many of our people have reached their full potentials? The job of politicians is to create opportunities for people to reach their potential because not only is that morally right but it is also the right way for the economy.


“What we are seeing in both our countries is a colossal waste of human potential and all my years as mayor of London or British prime minister, it has been ways to unleash the talents,” Mr Johnson added. He lamented a colossal waste of human resources in Nigeria despite its huge potential.


Mr Johnson said credible elections, equality before the law, education and a good transport system are ways Nigeria can unleash its potential. He also called on Nigeria and the United Kingdom to deepen their partnership saying the two nations share some similarities.