Nigeria: Our Central Security System Has Failed - Senate President

28 January 2020

Abuja — The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, yesterday took a holistic overview of the current centralised security architecture in Nigeria and described it as a failed system that must be overhauled in all its ramifications.

According to the Senate President, "if we must get it right in the country, it has become imperative to restructure the security architecture."

Aligning with the Senate President, Lagos lawmaker representing Amuwo-Odofin II and Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Compliance, Mr Rauf Olawale, said there was need for restructuring. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has explained its decision to pay close attention to the issue of community policing, saying the system is one sure way of tackling security challenges as it incorporates all segments of the society into its operations.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, stated this when he received in audience the re-elected member of the House of Representatives from Kano State, Alhassan Doguwa.

Failed centralised security architecture

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, while fielding questions from Journalists, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who noted that though series of efforts had been made in the past by both the executive and the legislative arms of government to address challenges of insecurity in the country, the worsening security situation requires restructuring of the failing architecture.

Lawan said: "We have had series of engagements before but the escalation now has made it mandatory that we have a definite position as a government because we just cannot play politics with security issues.

"Lives are being wasted. Therefore, the Senate will take a position on how security in the country should be. We believe that the security architecture should be restructured.

"We believe that the security architecture should be restructured. The present system does not appear to give us the type of outcome we need. Whether it is the federal, state or local government; even the traditional rulers or others, the most important thing is to secure the lives and property of Nigerians and we must do that.

"Apparently and obviously, all hands must be on deck to ensure that we bring back a better security situation like we had before.

"Presently, the story is not good in many areas, so much is happening that is destabilising our communities, killing of our people and we believe that we owe Nigerians the responsibility to intervene and work with the executive arm of government, actually to work together with other tiers of government, the states and local governments to ensure that we change the way we approach security issues in the country.

"The present arrangement is not working effectively and efficiently and we have to do something, and this time around, there shouldn't be buck passing, we have to be forthright, we have to say it as it is, and we have to do it as it is required."

Why we are pushing for community policing --FG

Director, Information in the Office of the SGF, Willie Bassey said Mr Mustapha also assured Nigerians that the security of lives and property will continue to be the cardinal objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

"Mustapha indicated that the executive will continue to work in synergy with the Legislature to ensure that appropriate laws are promulgated that would enhance protection of lives and property across the country through the enactment of reformatory laws.

"The SGF said that close attention is being given by government to the issue of community policing because of its benefits, particularly in the involvement of all segments of the society in order to curb crime and criminality in the country," the statement noted.

The SGF who said that Kano is strategic to the present administration, added that the newly re-elected member will bring his wealth of experience to the House having been elected for the sixth time.

Also speaking, Chairman of APC in Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, said the victory of Doguwa was well deserved as the entire Kano State was behind him.

Responding, Doguwa who had earlier received his Certificate of Return from the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, expressed his readiness to assist in the promulgation of revolutionary laws, including issues of community policing.

There is need to involve the grassroots in security matters --Olawale

Olawale said: "It is not as if it has totally failed, but there is need for restructuring. As it is now, there is need to involve the grassroots in security matters. Take for instance, the Operation Amotekun, its is a grassroots-oriented network, a communal effort toward sanitizing our society of crime because it is an operation that has to do with who knows who in your locality.

"So, if the security architecture is decentralised in a way that every state is allowed to support the Federal Government in identifying hot spots in their communities it will go a long way to check the insecurity problem. If Nigerians can come up with their plans, I believe we are close to perfection."

FG should overhaul security architecture --PANDEF

Agreeing with the Senate President, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the South-South regional group, said the Federal Government should immediately overhaul the nation's security architecture and apparatus.

A PANDEF leader told Vanguard on phone: "It is matter of common fact that security situations impact the economic realities, and vice versa and these situations have a lot to do with the political leadership of the country. Once the government solves the security and economic challenges, other issues will naturally get resolved.

"PANDEF , therefore, urges President Buhari to tackle headlong the insecurity and criminality challenges in the country, to strengthen the nation's security, and guarantee the safety of lives and property of citizens.

"There is an urgent need of change in strategy and approach, and this requires immediate overhaul of the nation's security architecture and apparatus.

"Most importantly, the President must rejig the top hierarchy of the armed forces in order to bring in new hands and fresh ideas. And appointments of persons to such offices should not be based on religious or sectional considerations, but on character and competence.

"He needs to improve the weaponry and welfare of officers and men of the armed forces, the police and other security agencies, as well as provide adequate training and retraining to expand the capacities of personnel," he stated.

They are just recognising challenges that confront all of us - Dr Obawana, CDHR chair

Also, President of the Committee for Defense of Human Right, CDHR, Dr Osagie Obayuwana, said: "They are recognising the challenges that confront all of us. It is not only in the security realm that needs to be decentralized and that has become very evident. One of the things that we need to appreciate at this juncture is that our country is ours to make or mar.

"Every generation has the opportunity to look at what has been in place. And in the light of experience and international practice, look at the experience of our country against the background to what had happened to other people, the real test of what our being alive to our responsibilities, is to draw the correct conclusion from all of these in confronting our challenges. So, our founding fathers have done their bit, we have an opportunity to access what they have done in the light of our experience to make our unique contributions. This is the era of decentralization across board not only in security. If you look at our constitution, we say it's only federal in name."

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