As a new administration is set to take over in a few days time, security experts have advised that the best way to tackle the menace of insecurity in parts of Nigeria is to deploy an advanced technology-based system for optimal intelligence gathering and crime-fighting.
The president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other candidates had during pre-election campaigns, promised that security would be their top priority as it is pathway to progress and sustainability both for the citizens and the country as a whole.
One of the major challenges in all parts of Nigeria today is insecurity which manifests in the forms of killings, armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism.
Nigeria is currently ranked number eight in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) and number 10 in the Global Security Index (GSI). According to data released by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa programme, a total of 63,111 persons were killed in the eight years of Muhammadu Buhari administration. The deaths arose from terrorism, banditry, Herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cult clashes, and extra-judicial killings among others.
Two security experts, who appeared on Arise News Morning Show – Felix Ogbaudu, former Assistant Inspector General of Police and Onyekachi Adekoya, a security and risk management consultant, reviewed security activities in Buhari’s administration and advised that the incoming government should invest more on technology and enhance intelligence system of the entire security architecture.
Buhari Has Failed Nigeria On Security
Examining, security in the past eight years, Ogbaudu said the present government failed in its primary responsibility of providing adequate security.
His words: “Government has failed in its primary responsibility as provided for in section 14(2b) of the 1999 constitution as amended which says that the security and welfare of the people is their primary responsibility.
“Some people may say that the government has done very well. This is because we are in a country where people keep on defending the indefensible and justifying the unjustifiable.”
He said there is a need to address the fundamental issues fueling insecurity in all parts of the country.
The retired AIG and currently a legal expert, said the incoming government need to carry out a comprehensive reform of the security system which should involve massive recruitment, adequate training and empowerment of personnel, to make them professionally competent and proactive.
“We need to have an overwhelming security presence in this country. In parts of the country, you don’t find any security presence. In a nation where lawmaking has become so lucrative, than law enforcement, and the provision of security is the best for us. We must make security the number one priority in this country,” Ogbaudu said.
On his part, Adekoya said the Buhari government tried but failed to comprehensively tackle security challenges across the country.
He acknowledged that progress was made in terms of investment in equipment, recruitment of personnel, training and international collaboration on defence matters.
However, he insisted that looking at the spate of killings across the country “the Buhari government cannot be given a pass mark.”
“For my fair assessment of the Buhari administration in the past eight, I would say that he has tried but he has failed. He has failed because the over 63,000 people reportedly killed in the last eight years is an under-report. Nigeria’s security tracker does not have all the information out there. Far more people have died,” Adekoya insisted.
The security expert, who is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Industrial Security, said the incoming government should introduce state police system for effective community policing.
According to him, local administration needs to play active roles in dealing with security issues because the bulk of crimes are committed at the local level.
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Speaking further on what the incoming administration should do on security, Ogbaudu suggested that they should form a committee to examine the origin of security crises in various parts of the country, understand how they started and the way forward.
On the strength of the labour force in the Nigeria Police, the retired officer said there is a need to increase their number. According to him, the United Nations ratio is one police officer to 400 people. “With Nigeria’s population being over 200 million as of today, the strength of the Nigeria Police Force is a far cry from better policing of the country.
“so, we need to recruit police officers and we need to also emphasize having competent hands when we are going to recruit, and a very sound training for them.”
He further stressed that enhancing the intelligence-gathering outfit would help to detect imminent threats and prevent any occurrence.
He also charged the government to reduce the amount of funds allocated to the legislature and focus squarely on security matters.
He pointed out that it is only when security challenges are resolved that the country can begin to attract foreign direct investment, as many investors are scared of taking risks.