Currently the security situation in the country is very worrisome. With the excessive rate of kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, ritual menace, Boko Haram and herdsmen attacks in the country, none of the six geopolitical zones could be described as safe for the citizens.
The Boko Haram insurgency, which has lasted for over ten years, is still an issue to contend with despite the Federal Government’s promises and assurances that it is on top of the situation. Across the county, cases of banditry, killings and other heinous crimes are still reported in the newspapers and on radio and television.
Many have also been killed by security agents who are being paid by the state to protect the citizens.
Many Nigerians have expressed concerns over the insecurity in the country and insisted that there was an urgent need for something to be done to address the unhealthy development.
Similar sentiments were shared recently by participants at a forum in Lagos tagged ;An interactive and networking evening with the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu.’
They noted that without the security of lives and property, no country, zone or system can experience progress in the areas of technology, economy and robust politics, among other things.
Though the participants acknowledged that the government was trying its best in tackling the spate of insecurity that has bedevilled the country in diverse ways, they insisted that government’s best was yet to yield meaningful impact.
They implored all the governors in the country to synergise with the relevant stakeholders to form unit cohesion in order to tackle the ugly trend. All the stakeholders were also urged to rise up to the challenge in order to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies towards achieving community policing in Nigeria.
The event with the theme: ‘Insecurity: The challenges and solutions,’ was organised by Breakthrough Media.
Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi A. Sule who was among the special guests at the event, while speaking, shared his experience, and his administration’s efforts in curtailing the menace. He boasted that his administration’s policy in tackling insecurity in the state was already yielding result.
The governor, who spoke through his Commissioner for Special Duties, Bashir Aliu Muhammed at the event, said the current peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in his state was as a result of his policy to make the state safe for all citizens, no matter their religion, class or ethnicity.
The governor said that without synergy between the government and all relevant stakeholders, insecurity in the country would continue to persist.
He said: “Some policy issues which lay emphasis on improvement in security through poverty alleviation, community based conflict resolution mechanism and renewed active collaboration with security agencies and traditional rulers are working perfectly in checking the menace of insecurity.
“It may interest you to know that, in the past, the state witnessed a number of crises with resultant loss of lives and property worth millions of naira. Government in its commitment to addressing this ugly phenomenon collaborated with different stakeholders and the security agencies to curtail the situation. I need to state that the most potent strategy that has continued to yield positive results in addressing insecurity in the state is our policy on community-based conflict resolution mechanism.
“This mechanism ensures that warring parties in the same communities are brought together to discuss their differences with partial supervision from the government. I am happy to inform you that this strategy has been very effective and successful as it has brought about sustenance of peace and harmonious co-existence amongst our communities across the state.”
The governor enumerated other strategies instituted to curtail insecurity in the state. He said he believed that effective security and protection of lives and property would be best bolstered by an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence within and outside the state.
He said he had also embarked on diplomatic peace missions to neighbouring states, including Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Kaduna and Plateau to seek stronger neighbourly ties and cross border cooperation to tackle the scourge of farmer-herders clashes and incursion of insurgents.
He attributed the recurring security challenge, most especially, kidnapping in Nasarawa State to the infiltration of suspected criminal elements from the neighbouring states.
The governor said as part of his administration’s efforts to ensure safety of lives and property in the state, he had approached the Inspector General of Police, Adamu, in respect of insecurity at a popular section of Nasarawa Eggon-Akwanga Highway known as ‘Many-Have-Gone.’ The governor said the police boss had promised to establish a Mobile Police Training School in the axis, in order to halt the notorious activities of kidnappers and armed robbers.
Another special guest, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde was also represented at the occasion by his Executive Assistant on Security Matters, Mr Sunday Odukoya.
He re-echoed the submission of the Nasarawa Governor on government-stakeholder synergy.
Makinde’s aide stated that as part of Oyo State Government’s determination to provide adequate security for its citizens and their property, the government has acquired 100 units of ‘Executive Automatic Transmission patrol vehicles to be distributed to security agencies. He assured the security personnel in the state of government support.
Said the governor: “To all our security personnel, your welfare will be our top priority. We are ready to make sure you are living well, as this will go a long way to enhance your job of saving lives and property,” he said.”
Apart from this, he said as part of efforts to find lasting solutions to internal security challenges in the state, the government has partnered with the Vigilante and Community Development Council.
Makinde’s representative said the Southwest Governors have agreed to launch the new unconventional security architecture that would not conflict with the Federal Government’s security structures such as the police, in order to curb the menace of insecurity in the South-West zone.
He explained that the governors in the South-West recently held a summit because of the security challenges and agreed to tackle insecurity from an unconventional perspective, looking at where Vigilante groups and those who have local knowledge could be of help.
“In order to tackle security challenges in our region, an outfit called Amotekun has been formed. Needed instruments for the job have been acquired but we still need the support of all relevant stakeholders because we realise that we need to police our environment and it is our people who have the knowledge of the local environment that will be engaged to carry out some certain operations, ” he said.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, stated that the establishment of State Police units was not achievable without an amendment to the constitution.
Adamu, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abdul Kareem Jimoh, said the establishment of state police forces was a good idea that could not be translated into reality due to the architecture of the police clearly stated in the constitution.
He said for state police forces to materialise, there must be an amendment to the Nigerian Constitution.
He admitted that the Nigerian Police currently lack sufficient manpower to police the country, but advocated for community policing as an alternative.
The police boss said the security situation across the country needed urgent attention and the best approach was to provide lasting opportunities for other relevant security groups to relate with the police in gathering important and vital information at the grassroots.
The police boss said community policing could be achieved with adequate synergy between the police and the people at the grassroots.
Jimoh disclosed that 5,000 officers have been trained as community policing instructors and that the IGP would soon commission a Police Intelligence School in Kwara State. He stated that these efforts were part of Adamu’s determination to address the security challenges the country is faced with.
The Chairman of Breakthrough Media, Rev. Michael Akintola, in his welcome address, charged all relevant security stakeholders and the government to go the extra mile in finding lasting solutions to the menace of insecurity ravaging the country.
He said that without adequate security of lives and property, Nigeria’s economy would not develop to its full potential and that its developing democracy would be in danger.