FROM: JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Onofiok Luke has explained why the federal government has so far not been able to curb the the worsening spates of insecurity in the country.
Luke, who represents Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom federal constituency of Akwa Ibom state, said the agencies charged with the security of the nation do not have a well coordinated leadership command to be able to work in unison to achieve the common goal of securing the country.
Luke, who is the immediate past speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, told Daily Sun on Thursday, Luke said it was a sad reality that there is lack of uniformity of purpose and synergy among the police, the military, the Department of State Security Service with the Office of the National Security Adviser.
He said there is no way the security apparati and institutions would be able to tackle banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality if they do not work in unison.
He however urged the federal government to invest in intelligence gathering, and that intelligence reports should be shared among security organizations.
”When former President Goodluck Jonathan tackled the insecurity certain sections of the country cried out and was accused of killing people extra-judicially. We did not know that we will get to where we are today.
”One thing is clear, there is lack of leadership. We don’t have a coordinating leadership to lead us to where we have to get to. Everybody seems to be operating in silos.
”The military is operating solo, the police is operating solo. It is sad that at a point in this country, the security chiefs were operating without the national security adviser and so there is a clear lack of leadership there”, he said
The lawmaker expressed his support for the plan by the FG to seek help from the international community to solve the country’s security challenges but kicked against the plan to recruit repentant terrorists into the police and military.
He however said the recent report that number of arms and ammunition in the hands of non-state actors was three times more than the ones in the hands of state actors was very worrisome.
He said there should be more transparency and accountability by governors on the management of security votes.
”On the issue of governors and security vote, let me start from this perspective. I am an advocate of state police. I have stated together with my colleagues on the floor of the House to make alterations in the Constitution to accommodate state police.
”Again what can the governors do other than give vehicular and logistical support. Anytime there is a crisis in the states the security operatives sent to those places are paid special allowances and those special allowances are paid by the governors and this comes from the security vote.
”There are governors that have utilized their security vote judiciously. You cannot as a state governor procure arms. Going forward civil society must be made members of the State Security Council so that they will have first hand information on the security architecture of the state. With that it is easy for the citizens to understand the workings of the security architecture and the expenditure of security vote.”