From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has urged security agencies in the country to court the peoples’ support as they constitute the most important basis of all the institutions of state.
He warned that any security agency operating within a national space that disregards the support of the people is simply doomed in its mission of defence and security.
Ogbeni Aregbesola said that people are the essence of a nation and not just a territorial space, and thus, constitutes the singular most important basis of all the institutions of state.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Mohammed Manga Director (Press & Public Relations) said the Minister of Interior disclosed this at a stakeholders’ engagement on internal security and conflict resolution in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital.
According to him, the Federal Government flagged-off the stakeholders’ engagement on internal security and conflict resolution in order to bring to an end the security challenges across the country.
The Minister called on Nigerians and the good people of Borno State in particular, to support the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Administration in its efforts at checking insurgency in the country.
In his speech titled: “The People as the Cornerstone of Security”, Aregbesola said that the summit was called to tap from the wealth of experience of the Kanem Borno Empire that made it to stand secured for 1,200 years, more than the Byzantine Empire or the Holy Roman Empire.
He said “Any security agency operating within a national space that disregards the support of the people is simply doomed in its mission of defence and security”.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the Cabinet are greatly pained over the hardships Nigerians are going through on account of the security challenges in some parts of the country and are determined to do whatever is necessary to bring an end to the activities of these marauders. Saying “Enough is enough”.
The Minister said that Government has renewed its stand to do whatever is necessary to stamp out insecurity from any part of the country, where it exists and assured that the challenges the country face are surmountable.
“Some nations have faced them before and have come out victorious. We are going to do the same and nothing is going to stop us. But to be able to win, we need the support of the people.
“We must understand that the defence and security architectural complex is a pyramid. Sitting on the top is the military, followed by the police, next are the other security agencies and at the base, carrying and supporting the complex, are the people who are the security-agency-at-large.” He said.
Aregbesola added that in every secure nation, especially the developed ones, security is contingent on the information supplied by the citizens, their cooperation with the security agencies and acting in the best interest of their community, society and the nation.
The Minister who commended the security agencies for their doggedness in the fight against crime and criminality in the country called on them to see the people as important to achieving successes.
He said that people are the essence of a nation and not just a territorial space, and thus, constitutes the singular most important basis of all the institutions of state.
“I am of the firm opinion that if the security agencies have the trust and support of these people, the terrorists and those constituting threat to life and property in any part of the country, would not be anonymous. They would have been handed over by now.
“The insurgents and other criminals who are disturbing us, are not ghosts but humans, nevertheless they are a tiny minority. They can never withstand a united and determined people who take their security seriously.” He reiterated.
Aregbesola who acknowledged that formidable military might and cutting-edge technology are necessary in the fight against crime and criminality observed that without the support of the people, they may be ineffective.
“The government needs the support of the people in confronting a mobile, flexible and fluid insurgents that hide among the people”, he emphasised.
Also speaking, the Executive Governor of Borno State Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured that the Government and people of Borno State would continue to support the efforts of the Federal Government in its determination to ensuring the restoration of peace and security in the state.
He thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration for liberating a substantial part of the State and the Northeast from the grip of the insurgents.
He added that some time ago, 23 of the 27 local government areas of the State were under the firm control of the insurgents but for the concerted efforts of the Federal Government in calling for the military’s intervention, the situation had been reversed.
In his remarks, His Eminence, the Shehu of Borno, Alh. Abubakar Ibin Umar Garba pledged the support of the traditional rulers to the Federal Government in its efforts towards finding lasting peace and security in all parts of the country.
The stakeholders’ engagement was also attended by the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum; Ministers of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi; Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi; Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed; Chairman Senate Committee on Interior and his counterpart in the House of Representatives.
Others are: IGP, Mohammed Adamu; Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Ahmed Ja’faru; Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammad Babandede; Controller-General, Federal Fire Service (FFS), Dr. Liman Ibrahim; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Muhammadu Gana Abdullahi; traditional rulers as well as other relevant stakeholders on matters of internal security.