Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former Director-General Department of State Service (DSS), Afakiya Gadzama, has attributed the escalating state of insecurity in the country to the dishonesty of the personnel of various security agencies, alleging that the sycophancy of those around government officials has complicated the situation.
Delivering his speech as a guest speaker at the DSS National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, Gadzama argued that although there is nothing wrong with the Ruga policy of the Federal government, the lack of sufficient consultation actually hampered the implementation of the good intention of the scheme.
He also revealed that the Nigeria security architecture is outdated while the security personnel are terribly under staffed, insisting that as long as the relevant security operatives are equipped with the outdated weapons used during the Biafra war, it would be practically impossible to win the war against Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges.
The former DG of DSS also lent support to the imminent restructuring of the country, expressing concern over the politicisation of the good intention, just as he warned that the country does not need community policing, warning that some state will declare themselves republic easily.
“The country is besieged with a spat of security challenges. I wish to place on record that the topic of this lecture is apt for the participants. The implications for current security challenges are becoming more intricate and daring and pose serious challenges to the security of the country.
“Let me say that one of the major challenges of the current insecurity is the absence of integrity, truthfulness, honesty to the power that be. In the past, the security agencies kept giving the impression to the government that insurgency has been defeated. They tell that they are on top of the situation until Boko Haram emerged and bombed Nyanya, police headquarters and the UN building.
“Security agents must guard against deceit and giving the wrong impression of what they did not achieve. Those in the main law enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces need to be truthful. We just finished research on the banditry in the North West and we noticed that the security agencies for whatever reason feel shy, to tell the truth of the real situation on the ground.
“There was a particular president in the past getting security report every morning and will even ask for it if he did not get it. We keep on giving the impression and misleading government because I am not sure if the current government knows what is on the ground. I have argued with some people claiming that insurgency has been defeated because if it were so why have thousands of displaced people not returned home? The problem of the country is that the president is not told the truth.
“Part of our problems of security in the country is lack of truth and intent to deceit. Most of the security outfits have lost brilliant officers in the course of fighting Boko Haram and banditry because we don’t have the arms. In Nigeria, the security use civilian carriers for mobility. We have lost trained brilliant officers because of corruption that has crept into the system. Some of them don’t even give the required basic equipment to the personnel.
“Today, corruption is responsible for the security challenges. It is surprising that some of the ammunition given to some security agencies are obsolete. Some of them are the ones used during the civil war over 30 years ago; the military gave them from the armoury just like the ones the Civil Defence are carrying up and down. For God’s sake we can do it better,” he noted.
“Our national security architecture is outdated and cannot meet up with the demands and expectations of the people and government. There must be new ideas and strategy hence the need to change the leadership in some of the security forces. Other areas that need to be urgently addressed are manpower shortage, lack of weapons and required technical capabilities,” he said.
On Ruga, Gadzama said: “The point is that the Fulani have done so much havoc to people in this country. There are some security services that believe that these Fulani are mercenaries. We are no longer fighting the Boko Haram of those days but Islamic States of West Africa. They have the money, the arms and hardened jihadists in their midst. You can imagine the kind of challenges we are facing with the Fulani. There is nothing wrong with Ruga but there was no wide consultations concerning the policy.”
He equally commented on the security the implication of the agitation for restructuring, noting: “The other serious security challenge in the country is agitation for restructuring the country.
“Unless cautiously handled, it could signal the most serious misadventure in the country’s history. The demands to address perceived injustices, unfairness and discrimination in existing political arrangements are legitimate. They must not however lead to the balkanising and compounding the country’s fragile stability,” he warned.
On state police, he said: “I am of the view that the creation of state police is not the way to go. This is because of the likelihood of abuse and the lack of ability of the state to maintain a viable police system. State police is hardly an appropriate system in a fragile polity where parts of the country are agitating for even secession.”
Present at the event were representatives of the military chiefs and paramilitary heads and royal father of the day, the Emir of Fika, HRH Ibn Muhammadu Idrisa; presentation of certificates was made to the participants.