Insecurity: Failure of state, local govts helping bandits – Buratai

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The Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), says bandits and other criminal elements are able to move around and operate easily because of the failure of state and local governments to establish their presence in their areas of responsibility.

The former Chief of Army Staff stated this on Saturday at a one-day symposium on National security, organised by Arewa House in Kaduna, with the theme ‘Politics and Insecurity in Nigeria: Way Forward’.

He said there are currently, various forms of insecurity in different parts of the country, such as insurgency in the North East, banditry and kidnapping in the North West, agitations in South East and crude oil bunkering in South-South.

Buratai suggested the adoption of compressive and integrated approach to enable the entire society play key roles in tackling the country’s security challenges.

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He explained that the comprehensive approach should also entail the involvement of critical stakeholders from the society, such as religious leaders, youths, teachers, women, civil society, media, law enforcement as well as the security and intelligence agencies.

“There is need for the public to be constantly sensitised and enlightened on their roles as stakeholders in the security architecture of the country through agencies such as the National Orientation Agency, among others,” he said.

Buratai also said that the revitalisation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) would mitigate the challenge of lack of specialised equipment and platforms for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to curb insecurity.

He said the objective is to train adequate and requisite skilled as well as specialised manpower, saddled with
the responsibility of providing technical support in enhancing equipment production for the AFN.

“This is crucial in meeting the increasing equipment requirements of AFN to confront current and emerging security threats.

“To achieve this, the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with stakeholders, could put structures in place for adequate manpower training for DICON staff.

“This would further enhance their specialised manpower and increase their capacity for production of military hardware for the AFN,” he said.

Buratai further said the ongoing reforms of the Nigerian Police, procurement of modern platforms for intelligence gathering, and effective control of Nigeria’s porous borders, would go along way in achieving the desired security in the country.

“There must be a concerted effort by the government to see that there are no ungoverned spaces in this country.

“State and local governments must establish their presence in their areas of responsibility, we do not need to mention that the failure of some states and local governments to establish their presence in some parts of their states, is the major reason insurgents and bandits find it easier to move around and operate.

“We must also focus towards non-kinetic measures that would aim at addressing the underlying root causes of the insecurity rather than treating the symptoms.

“Kinetic should also be employed to create conditions for negotiations, mediations and dialogue,” Buratai said.

He called on the citizenry to consider security as critical to the national development and responsible by all, not only the police and other security forces.

Earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar, assured of traditional and religious institution’s commitment, in ensuring they play their strategic roles in achieving a peaceful Nigeria.

Abubakar, represented by Dr. Bello Lafiagi, urged Nigerians to be prayerful and be each other’s brothers’ keepers, by exhibiting a high level of trust and compassion.

The symposium was attended by representatives of heads of military and paramilitary organisations, religious and traditional rulers, academia, among others.

 

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