Plans reactivation of LG moribund security c’ttees

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed partnering with the Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria, RAPSON, on conveying a 3-day National Conference on community violence prevention and human security from March 24-26, 2020.

This was made known by the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, at a press conference held in Abuja.

Akume said explained with concern that it has become imperative for the conference to hold in order to address security challenges bedeviling the peace, security, and lives of Nigerians at the grassroots, where role players in violence prevention will share ideas on improving community safety and human security.

According to him the conference with theme, ‘Strategizing for Community Safety’ is targeted at fighting against violent crimes which sadly result in unnecessary deaths and human suffering, and it will be a paradigm shift in security and safety management that emphasizes community-oriented and people-centered approach.

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He added that to actualize the objectives of the conference and create a platform of cooperation amongst relevant stakeholders, a draft strategic plan of action on community violence prevention and human security has been developed following findings from a variety of community engagement exercises. This will be discussed and adopted at the conference.

He said: “The conference is organised by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in collaboration with Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria, RAPSON, brings together role players in violence prevention to share ideas together on improving community safety and human security.

“The conference with the theme ‘Strategizing for Community Safety’ is billed to take place from the 24th- 26th March 2020 at the National Centre for Women Development from 9: am daily. Thought-provoking papers will be delivered by carefully selected resource persons and experts in community safety and security matters.

“I strongly believe that this conference will enhance the supporting goals of community safety and human security management and that the various outcomes will positively contribute to the fight against violent crimes, which sadly result in unnecessary deaths and human suffering.

“We are going to make a difference under this new dispensation. What we intend to do here is to come up with solid resolutions and with timelines, and that is why we are beginning from the grassroots, where these things actually take place.

“So the plan of action we have here has been developed and it is going to be strictly followed, and that is why I was talking about timeline; if you give somebody a task you must also give him a timeline, you have a mechanism to also monitor the implementation otherwise all of you will be off the mark.

“And we want to make a difference especially with performance, and we are going to share ideas with the communities with their own special programme from their own environment.

“We will come up with a strong strategic plan to ensure that the security of lives and property beginning from the grassroots because most of our people live in rural areas and they are rural people. Leadership does not start from, Abuja but it starts from the community level, ward level, local government then the state becomes the highest level.”

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Meanwhile, the Minister also revealed that the government will revitalize moribund security committees in all local government areas of the country to boost grassroots security architecture.

He also stated that the Ministry is working hard to ensure the country does not become another Somalia, Libya, and Afghanistan because anything that affects Nigeria will definitely be felt across the world due to the huge population of over 200 people and the presence of Nigerians across the world.

“Therefore if you look at these security committees in the past we say they are already, moribund. We are going to reactivate all the security committees in the local government so that they will be meaningful, and that is why it is coming from the grassroots, and we strongly believe and rightly too that we are going to make a difference”, he said

He also urged the media to support the effort of his ministry to pass across the message of peace and unity to the grassroots people.

“Let us work together as a team. The Nigeria that is at peace with itself that works for the benefit of all, and the Nigeria that believes in our ingenuity and creativity.

“We love our country. Federal systems can never be the same; we are culturally plural and structurally complex, but above all, we love our country, we believe in our country and territorial integrity, let us build on that, and let us not begin to say war, war. We want peace and security. We are greater together than we are divided”, he added.

Also speaking was Chairman, RAPSON, Engr Ben Koko Odohofre, who described the move by the Minister to engage communities and local governments as the beginning of solving Nigeria’s security problem.

“The problem we are having before now is all about the state, and the people that have this issue of security have not been carried along, they are not involved in the initial planning.

“So by the time you plan your security in Abuja and come to my village, it doesn’t work because you did not know what I want and but you now realise that putting people together to come and discuss is very important, and we thank the Minister for allowing this to happen and for allowing RAPSON partnering with the Ministry.

“Now if the people at the local level stay with the government and plan security issues the implementation will be very easy. So coming together as this is the beginning of good things in Nigeria.

“I know we are having challenges and problems here and there, terrorism, but when people and the state sit and dialogue that will be the end of the problem we are talking about and this is the beginning of our peace in Nigeria”, Odohofre said.

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