From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Moh Lukman, has suggested government demand of more accountability from the security agencies as part of the measures to strengthen against the escalating insecurity in the country.
In the statement he issued in Abuja, the PGF DG also demanded radical reformation of current country’s security structures.
“Recognising that the issues of insecurity inherited by the APC-led government of President Buhari remained a major national challenge, it is important that assessment of performance of APC government is not reduced to opinions of individual politicians.
“The reality is that both President Buhari and all APC leaders acknowledged the enormity of the challenges of insecurity in the country, which is why Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser was reported after the meeting of National Security Council of August 19, 2021, to have declared that President Buhari ‘would not leave office a failure.’
“This is in recognition of the fact notwithstanding all the achievements of the APC administration, once the problem of insecurity persists, it means the government has failed.
“Noting also that APC administration is taking steps to equip the security agencies and build morale, promote community-led solutions, develop new security infrastructure and operations across land and maritime environments, and address the underlying drivers of insecurity (poverty and youth unemployment), encouraging reports are emerging from the various theatres of operation.
“Although serious challenges still exist, and there is still a long way to go in restoring a robust sense of security in the country, it is also very important to continually acknowledge the victories and successes recorded by the military and law enforcement agencies, in the various theatres of operation across the country.
“For instance, the tide has turned against Boko Haram and ISWAP in the North-East and is turning against the bandits and criminals in the North-West. In the South East, relative calm has returned, and efforts are ongoing to fully neutralise the militant networks that have been troubling the region.
“In the Coastal Areas, the full rollout of the Deep Blue and Falcon Eye surveillance and security projects is certain to deal a strong blow on the activities of pirates and militants in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.
On the way forward, he said: “Certainly, all these measures can be strengthened, and the government can do more especially in relation to getting our security agencies to be more accountable. Everything considered, the current security structure in the country needs to be radically reformed. Issues of amending the laws to enable state governments establish state police are clearly unavoidable.
“However, there are conditions that must be met before any decision to establish state police can serve as a good response to Nigeria’s security challenges. This include the requirement that processes of regulating the operations of the state police should be centralised as part of the functions of the Federal Police.
“Under that, for instance, issues of recruitment, qualification, background checks for those to be recruited, enforcement of disciplinary requirement, arms procurement and training for weapon handling, etc. should be handled at federal level so that there are uniform standards across the country.
“Outside regulations, there are issues of funding. Most time, Nigerians make proposals in terms of how government should address challenges with the assumption that funding is given, which means that government can always mobilise the resources. This is mostly exaggerated.
“To address Nigerian security challenges, especially if the establishment of state police is to be considered, there must be a new funding arrangement, which should insulate the operations of Nigeria Police including the new state police to be established from all the uncertainties surrounding public financial management,” the statement read.
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