Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The North, in Kaduna on Monday said there was the need for the Federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the security architecture of the country to capture community intelligence as current strategies being deployed were not working.
Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) in collaboration with Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Savanna Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) and Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, organised a two-day Northern Nigeria Security Conference to discuss issues of rural banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, farmers- herders’ clash and insurgency.
In an interview shortly after the opening of the conference, the convener and one of the resounding voices in the North, Dr Usman Bugaje, reiterated the need to tell those who occupy government positions from the lowest up to presidency the truth about the security reality on ground without making it appear politically-motivated.
“What is happening in Nigeria today in terms of security is known to everybody. A lot of killings and atrocities are under-reported. We have a situation where things have deteriorated and are still deteriorating and every move by the security agency is not translating to positive results.
“It becomes necessary, therefore, to re-examine the situation and explore the community approach. We want to see what the community can do so that we can come together and salvage this country.
“In these two days, we have brought experts even though many of them have retired from security forces – so they can bring their expertise and see how the communities can compliment the efforts of the security.
“Now, we are not here to blame any particular person. We did underscore a few points of action. First, there is the need for us to take this issue of security very seriously with all responsibility. There should be no room for politics or joke here.
“Second, I did say that a citizen will have a responsibility to participate and to show when the government is not delivering even if it is under dictatorship in the circumstance that we are.
“So, we want people who are holding government positions from the lowest up to the president to understand that, what they have been doing is not working. This is because, it is the citizens who can tell you whether what you are doing is working or not.
“The third point we are considering is the fact that, they seem to have lost their courage to tell the truth. But this is important in our kind of setting because we are not sure if the president is getting the truth. We want to make sure those that are making policies and strategies are listening to the truth. It is important that whatever we see to be truth we say it.
“Yes, there is a superior argument, information or knowledge. We go by whatever is superior; we must tell what we know and we should not give room for complacency,” Bugaje added.
Earlier, one of the keynote speakers, Abubakar, Sadiq Muhammed, said, the present blanket approach employed by security forces to tackle insecurity cannot give the results the country needed.