From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Nigerian Delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, has said that the security situation in the country is stable.
The delegation, while presenting the country report during the ongoing second ordinary session of the parliament in Abuja, said data for the third quarter showed a decline in security incidents.
The delegation is comprised of Ahmed Idris Wase, Mohammed Ali Ndume, Biodun Olujimi, Adebayo Balogun, Emmanuel Bwacha, Smart Adeyemi, amongst others.
The delegation said: “The security situation in the country is currently stable, as data for Q3 shows a decline in security incidents. However, Nigeria is still experiencing some security challenges. In acknowledgment of this, there has been an unprecedented increase in the frequency of strategy meetings by the National Security Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, geared towards designing and implementing a sustainable security framework.
“The months of July and August 2022 saw a peak in security related incidents, particularly unprovoked attacks on civilians and security operatives by armed bandits and terrorists. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was not spared, with the attack on a medium security prison in Kuje, that led to the escape of a number of criminal elements, some of whom are affiliated with the Boko Haram terrorist group. There was also the attack on the presidential guard brigade that led to the death of six officers and other unprovoked attacks on military checkpoints that have led to loss of lives.
“In recent months, there have been reduced security incidents in the country. This is linked on one hand to the Federal Government’s approval of N2.6 billion for the purchase of security equipment and on the other hand, to improved tactics, techniques and procedures by security forces especially in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Also, there is increased inter-service and inter-agency synergy and better cohesion between national and multinational security forces.”
In the report which was presented by Lynda Ikpeazu, the delegation further said as a result of the development, there has been noticeable reduction in security incidents in the Northeast and Northwest, particularly in states constantly under attack by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’adati wal-Jihad (JAS).
“The joint security effort has led to a mass surrender of JAS operatives and to a lesser extent those of ISWAP.
“It is noteworthy that as at 5th October 2022, all the hostages abducted in the 28th March 2022 attack on the Kaduna bound train by Boko Haram terrorists, have been released. This is a testament to the collaborative work of security forces, spearheaded by the Nigerian Military,” the delegation also said.
On the political situation in the country, the delegation said the situation in Nigeria is charged-up with electioneering activities, with the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) expressing its commitment to free, fair and credible elections.
The delegation also said INEC has further reaffirmed its determination to conduct a technology-driven election, that will prevent any form of human errors, which were seemingly the case in the past.
“It is noteworthy, that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been successfully deployed in the 2022 off-season gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, thus reigniting the hope of Nigerians for a credible 2023 general elections.
“According to INEC, insecurity and the recent flooding are major issues to be considered to prevent the disenfranchisement of some Nigerians. As a result, the electoral body has inaugurated the Electoral Logistics Committee (ELOC) for the 2023 general elections, to evaluate the logistical glitches it may confront. This would enable INEC to detect potential weaknesses in the logistics chain ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Additionally, the National Peace Committee, a pro-democracy body in Nigeria, has encouraged political parties to sign a Peace Accord committing them to peaceful conduct throughout the period of the 2023 polls. In past elections, these efforts have played a crucial role and it is anticipated that all political parties would conform to the letters of the Accord,” the delegation further said.