By Romanus Okoye
Security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has advised the Borno State government to immediately hire 10,000 Borno youths into a robust vigilance force to defend the state alongside the military, the police, the paramilitary and the civilian JTF. According to him, the absence of a capable guardian was what facilitated the Borno massacre that occurred last Saturday.
Ekhomu, who is President of the Association Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, said that hiring the 10,000-man youth vigilance force will provide protection of the rural populations against incessant terror attacks. The vigilance initiative will also help Governor Zulum to fulfill his campaign promise to hire Borno youths to secure the state. The Borno Vigilance Force, which should employ able-bodied youths, who must receive musketry, martial arts and security tactics training, will be willing to take the fight to the terrorists to defend their home state against the implacable jihadists.
Said he: “What the vigilance group lacks is superior fire power, it will make up for in manpower.”
Ekhomu said that rural dwellers were targeted by Boko Haram insurgents because they are “soft targets” and are considered legitimate targets. He said that the absence of a capable guardian in the Borno countryside was a huge vulnerability that the terrorists were exploiting. He explained that the goal of Boko Haram is to get citizens to lose faith in the government. The constant slaughter of rural dwellers, which is causing so much pain and grief is likely to achieve that goal.
Ekhomu, who is West Africa’s first chartered security expert, said that the Borno Vigilance Force will act as force multipliers for the military and ensure greater security.
He said that the killing of the rice farmers just 20 kilometres from Maiduguri showed that the entire state was unsafe.