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Insecurity: State Police, Restructuring, Greater Commitment Of Security Agencies, Panacea – Afenifere

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63rd Independence Day Anniversary Speech By President Bola Tinubu

The Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere, has stated that the steps to take for combating the kidnaping and terrorism threatening to over-run the country are within the ambit of the stakeholders “if they are sincerely ready to stop the deadly menace”.

In a statement issued by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere was emphatic in saying that the stakeholders have what it takes to put an end to “or at least drastically reduce the incidence of terrorism in our midst if they are truly committed to doing so”.

He started by identifying the stakeholders as the government, security agencies and the people.

He added that an adjunct to the list is network providers in the communication industry.

“We start from the seemingly weakest yet very significant sector, the telecommunication. A few years ago, when Nigerians were stampeded to register for the National Identification Number, Bank Verification Number as well as registering their telephone numbers and matching some of these numbers, the argument put up was that doing so would make it easier for criminals to be nabbed by security agencies. Years down the line, years after the registrations have taken place and years after virtually every person using or owning telephone number(s) are in the database accessible to the government, criminality and terrorism are not only still with us, they are also festering with unprecedented ferocity!”

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Ajayi went further to say that failure to use tracking method to nab criminals, especially those using telephone sets to communicate, is a serious indictment on those who were supposed to include such in their intelligence gathering and criminal fighting strategies.

“It is on record that police do use ‘tracking’ to trace culprits when a high-ranking personality is the victim whose high-valued phone etc. were stolen. Why the same police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the military (Army) have not effectively utilized this important technology in fighting criminality is confounding! Yet, there is no record so far that any telecommunication company that owns the telephone line used by suspected criminals failed to co-operate with security operatives in this respect.”

He continued: “The people in the particular area where banditry seem to have become a regular feature was the next to be addressed.

“Some victims of kidnapping have narrated that there is usually an insider or insiders in how they were kidnapped. In other words, there are collaborators. This is why Afenifere, as stated in our public statement last week, is repeating that leaders in given areas need to consult among themselves and be blunt with one another – as well as with their youths. As is often said, without local collaborators, it would be difficult for marauders from outside to successfully carry out their obnoxious mission and go scot-free!

“Some victims of killings and arsons in Plateau State last Christmas eve stated that they severally sent distress calls to the security agencies, especially the military, when their areas were taken over by terrorists without any helps coming when expected. That the terrorists were able to operate for so long a time and in areas covering three local government geographically was an indictment. A similar attitude was said to have occurred in the kidnap incidents that took place in Abuja last week and previously in the neighbouring states. It was something that ought to attract sanction to prevent a re-occurrence.

“Herein comes the aspect that touches the government. “Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 was unambiguous in declaring that “security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. Meaning that all other things that a government does are to compliment and complement these two primary purposes. Unfortunately, given the how things have been in Nigeria in recent years, governments have failed phenomenally in their responsibilities as prescribed by the Constitution. To remedy this, it is incumbent on the government to buckle up. Parts of the way of doing this is to be more decisive in dealing with those apprehended as having hands in banditry.

“Afenifere is again calling on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to urgently send out emissaries to conduct soul-searching meetings with stakeholders in respective areas across the country with a view to coming up with mutually agreed solutions to the menace of insecurity in the areas concerned. Criminal acts peculiar to the given area be identified. And appropriate mechanisms for dealing with same must be devised and implemented. Serious sanctions for infractors or violators be agreed upon and applied accordingly without fear or favour.”

President Tinubu was also urged to give a Presidential Order empowering states and local government areas that are willing to set up local police services. Such local police outfit must have necessary wherewithal to operate as Police.

To make this permanent, Afenifere spokesman stated that mechanisms must also be put in place for restructuring the country such that constituents would be better positioned to take their fates in their own hands – in line with what we used to have before the military truncated the regional arrangement in 1966.

“A corollary to the foregoing is the need by federal and state governments to employ more hands into the security sector. Provide necessary tools including the deployment of modern devices to aid security as well as boosting the morale of security personnel at all levels.

“Quick dispensation of justice is also crucial in cases that border on insecurity,” he opined.

Ajayi concluded by calling on leaders in areas where banditry seems to have become a norm to ‘wake up’ and put an end to their present lackadaisical attitude so as to prevent the imminent catastrophe.

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