What incoming administration must do to strengthen security – IGP, others advise Tinubu
The various heads of Nigerian major security agencies and some state governors have explained what the incoming administration of president-elect, Bola Tinubu, should do in order to tackle the country’s security challenges.
Among the notable issues the security chiefs want the incoming administration to address were youth engagement; security architecture rejig; enhanced funding; an application of a non-kinetic approach.
The Security chiefs that gave the recommendations include the Inspector-General (IG) Usman Alkali, National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno and Department of State Services (DSS) Director-General Yusuf Bichi.
They all spoke on the second day of the induction programme by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for re-elected governors and governors-elect ahead of their May 29 inauguration.
Others who advocated steps to tackle the mounting security challenges include Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha and Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Charles Soludo (Anambra) and Hope Uzodimma (Imo).
Soludo noted that the fact that the incoming President Tinubu promised state police during the electioneering is a positive development.
Soludo, who called for the reordering of the nation’s security architecture, said it was illogical that only the Federal Government has control over security agencies despite the challenges being local and peculiar to each state.
He said: “How do we cope to survive in a dysfunctional system because the architecture is dysfunctional? For me, I am just a one-year-old on the job.
“Before I assumed office, it was so clear to me about the nature of the dysfunctionality, but how we must cope to survive
“So, if you ask me, the governor is in a very, very difficult situation, as it were, and I’m glad that the President-elect has committed to state police and that’s really the way to go in a federal structure.
“The vigilante services of various states are backed by law. The one of Anambra is. You are operating on that tight constraints as it were, but we need to rethink the architecture, that is one.”
Soludo called for adequate funding of the existing security agencies and the need to involve all, particularly the young population.
Mustapha urged governors to focus on ways to reduce youth unemployment. He said the Buhari government has done well in addressing Nigeria’s many challenges, including security.
Mustapha said: “We must move away from the so-called ‘youth empowerment programmes.’ The youths do not need handouts. They need investments that will propel them to wealth creators.
“A Nigeria that is resurgent economically must also be a Nigeria that is more at peace with itself and more secure.
“Today, more than ever, several states are spending a considerable share of their budgets on security, displacing the resources that are needed for development.
“This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future if nothing is done to drastically reverse it.
“The amount of investable territory available in Nigeria is decreasing as a direct result of the country’s high incidence of violent conflict and we need all the investments we can muscle in to bridge the revenue gap that is currently biting us all and very hard at that.
“It is imperative, therefore, that we acknowledge the close ties that exist between security, economic development, investment, and growth.
“This recognition, in my view, will help to shape our priorities as we take the driver’s seat in a few days from today.”
The NSA, represented by Joseph Dahwuep, urged the incoming administration to use governance as a way of reducing unemployment and other social challenges that fuel criminality.
He urged the governors to listen to early warning signs from stakeholders and emphasise the non-kinetic approach.
Stressing that crimes have been digitalised, the NSA urged the governors to develop measures that work for all.
The DSS DG, who was represented by Dr. Yusuf Mohammed, urged them to always work on early warnings and familiarise themselves with reports from their special assistants.
He stressed the need for the governors to seek feedback from community leaders and informants, adding that they should be accessible to citizens and provide avenues for communication.
IG Alkali, who was represented by Gala Ciroma, an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG), urged the governors to reduce poverty and unemployment, noting that a hungry person could easily be lured into crime.
Uzodimma noted that what is remotely behind most of the challenges we see is unemployment and hunger.
“So, if we can employ our young boys and girls and they become employers of labour, they will be busy because an ideal mind is the devil’s workshop. And when they are busy, they will add value to the society,” he said.
The Imo governor spoke of the need for states to align their security measures and initiatives with that of the president, who is the Commander-in-Chief.
Uzodimma added: “So, there is really the need for a constructive partnership and operational relationship between the federal government; sub-national and local authorities. As long as we can forge this relationship, I am very sure that the current insecurity will disappear.
“I am also aware that given the economy and resources available to the states, it may not be very easy now for some states to fund the cost of setting up an independent security architecture that will be effective and efficient in their various states.
“Rather, an inter-dependent relationship between the federal establishment and provincial authorities will also work.”
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke on the theme: “Managing the process of governance”, stressed the need for a cordial relationship between a governor and his deputy.
Drawing from his experience, he said a governor cannot afford to be invisible and inaccessible, suggesting that they must be accessible and maintain functional communication avenues with the people.
He also spoke on the relevance of appropriate budgeting processes, making the right appointments and being focused.
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