BY HUGO ODIOGOR
LAGOS — The Federal Government is to classify its national assets for effective security coverage in the face of crippling intra-agency bickering and lapses that militate against national security.
This classification will entail defining what constitutes national assets and national soft and hard security items.
The hard security items will include infrastructure and institutions like bridges, oil facilities and pipelines, public buildings, academic, banks and financial institutions.
The soft security items will include the country’s human and natural resources, its exclusive economic zones.
Informed security source said the listing of the various aspects of its national life also give security operatives clear lines of duty and attention of what is expected of the security operatives and required logistics to maintain effective security checks and surveillance on both domestic and external security frontiers.
Vanguard learnt last week that this has become urgent and necessary as some security agencies maintain conflicting lines of duty and in the process, compound their security briefs and bicker endlessly over failures and lapses arising thereafter.
Said the source: “We have discovered that it is necessary to classify our national security assets starting with security of our citizens, which is the primary reason for the existence of government as an agent of the state and as enshrined in the second schedule of the constitution.”
We will proceed classify our physical and economic assets, infrastructures and investments. We will assess our needs in terms of human and financial resources, which will be submitted to the presidency and the national assembly. We will then proceed to sensitise Nigerians on the need to be vigilant and play their roles in securing these assets.
We have to classify our national infrastructures, institutions, namely airports, seaports, banks, and financial institutions, academic institutions, hotels, roads and bridges, oil pipeline and oil facilities churches and mosques, public buildings, stadia, beaches and recreational spots, hospitals and markets, military assets among others. Some of them require physical protection from any possible attack from anarchists. There are those that require soft security in terms of education which is necessary in view of exposure to pervasive doctrines and ideologies of hate.
Apart from physical security there are Social Security, Food Security, Financial Security, Security of intellectual property, Security of our tangible and intangible assets, resources and capabilities. Once any of these are compromised, it would trigger social discontents that would threaten Physical Security
The source told Vanguard that “there is the need for us to think of national security beyond the Boko Haram, we have growing cases of piracy in our continental shelf. The nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is threatened by sea pirates, we have growing cases of kidnappings and breaking of pipelines to steal crude and refined petroleum products, all these are serious security issues”.
Purpose of Classifications
The proposed classification will give the security agencies the police, SSS, DMI, Army, Navy, Air force, Road Safety, Customs, Immigration, NSCDC, NDLEA, clear sense of purpose on of how to channel their energies. “It is ridiculous to think that at a time of such serious security challenge, our policemen are still on the streets in their large numbers extorting money from motorists.
We have open places where people product guns and daggers and other dangerous weapons, but above all we have politicians who arm unemployed, uneducated young men just to acquire political power in the end the society is left to bear the brunt. It is a product of negligence on the part of the Police High Command to ignore this aspect of physical security challenges facing the country.
Among those who loiter at the airports could be anarchists who want to inflict serious damage on air lines, visitors to the country or our infrastructure. When we have extensive land and maritime borders it is laughable to see Customs men on the high ways stopping vehicles imported as second hand goods, arms and ammunition are imported at will, drugs are shipped into the country in containers, narco-terrorism is going on unchecked”.
The classification of the citizens will include their physical and social and environmental security, thereafter, there will be need for us to embark on full citizens awareness of the need for them to br proactive and protect these assets as a mark of their obligations the state, there welfare and survival”. Said source ”When we do this, state governments will know that the security votes given to them is not to organise owambe parties abroad”.
There are also soft security in terms of “provision of jobs, food, and other basic life sustainers. A hungry man is an angry man, and your national security is effective where there is a high level contentment among the citizens. You can have all the tanks and bombs but when your citizens are not happy, they will become subversive and undermine your national security. Look at what happened last week in Norway, it is a product of discontent and see how many innocent people that paid for it?
We have to think of soft security in terms of social security, nation’s provide safety nets for the vulnerable groups, to prevent them from taking actions that will undermine national security, they need food, shelter, healthcare, education, which are the basic functions of government. We cannot ignore the mass army of almajiris on the streets, the jetsams and flotsams on the streets of urban areas, the unemployed graduates who roam the streets, we do so at the peril of the entire nation”.
The source said the Federal government must look into “the infiltration of persons who have been exposed to some radical ideology that the western education and values are evils, and some religion are anti Islam while the superpowers are the problems of the world and must be attacked to become martyrs even through suicide bombs, it is the duty of immigration authorities to monitor people who come into the country, their mission and activities, a country that aspires to be great must be conscious that it will have to contend with internal and external enemies, we have to face this new reality now”.