This Day (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Insecurity - Military Decries Influx of People Into FCT

The Nigerian Military has deplored the unchecked influx of people into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on daily basis, alleging that it constitutes a major source of insecurity in the country.

This observation was made Wednesday at the National Assembly in Abuja by Air Commodore Gambo Ilyasu, who led the study tour of the Senior Course 35 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Kaduna, to study the political and socio-economic issues relating to the theme: 'Integration as it Affects National Security'.

While fielding questions from journalists shortly after the tour, Ilyasu said in as much as the country was seeking greater integration, the alarming rate at which people migrate to the FCT without any meaningful economic engagements constitutes a political risk.

He disclosed that among the Senior Course 35, mostly mid-level officers are about 21 international students from 13 African countries and South Korea, in addition to non-military (civilians) students from Nigerian strategic ministries and agencies.

An emergency security meeting was held on Tuesday by the FCT Administration (FCTA) on the increasing number of immigrants in the nation's capital.

According to the Military Commander, the team visited the six area councils of the FCT and was particularly worried at their discovery at Bwari that over 1,000 people come into the nation's capital on daily basis and only 200 eventually goes back leaving 800 others behind without any means of livelihood.

He said: "The essence of the visit is for the students to familiarise themselves with the political and socio-economic issues including practical aspect of their studies.

"There is no doubt in my mind that one of the contemporary challenges facing Nigeria is insecurity and we feel that one of the way of facilitating national security is through integration."

"We have visited a lot of areas through which we have been able to achieve the aim of this theme; 'Using National Integration to Achieve National Security'," he noted.

Explaining further, Ilyasu said: "Like our visit to Bwari, one of the areas of challenge has to do with the influx of people into Abuja and in most cases these people find it difficult to cope with the high standard of living in Abuja and moved to neighbouring LGAs (of other states or satellites towns), which is a serious security challenge. In an attempt to address the need for national integration, it should also be noted that this is equally a threat to National Security."

"The data we gathered is that everyday about 1000 people come into Abuja but only about 200 go back and the remaining 800 cannot reside

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