By Omeiza Ajayi
THE Federal Government has expressed its commitment to ending the wave of insecurity in the country, declaring that enough was enough and that security agencies must rise to the occasion of securing the nation from criminal elements.
Consequently, it has begun a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement on internal security and conflict resolution to bring an end to security challenges across the country.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who stated this, yesterday, in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, called on Nigerians and the people of Borno State, in particular, to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to end insurgency.
In his speech titled: “The People as the Cornerstone of Security,” Aregbesola said the summit was called to tap from the wealth of experience of the Kanem Borno Empire that made it to stand for 1, 200 years, more than the Byzantine Empire or the Roman Empire.
Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mohamed Manga, in a statement said President Buhari and members of the cabinet are greatly pained over the hardship Nigerians are going through on account of the security challenges in some parts of the country and are determined to do whatever is necessary to bring an end to the activities of the marauders.
He said: “Enough is enough. Some nations have faced them before and have come out victorious. We are going to do the same and nothing is going to stop us. But to be able to win, we need the support of the people. We must understand that the defence and security architectural complex is a pyramid. Sitting on the top is the military, followed by the police, next are the other security agencies and at the base, carrying and supporting the complex, are the people who are the security-agency-at-large.”
The minister, who commended the security agencies for their doggedness in the fight against crime and criminality in the country, called on them to see the people as important to achieving successes. He said that people are the essence of a nation and not just a territorial space, and thus, constitutes the singular most important basis of all the institutions of state.
“Any security agency operating within a national space that disregards the support of the people is simply doomed in its mission of defence and security. I am of the firm opinion that if the security agencies have the trust and support of the people, the terrorists and those constituting threat to life and property in any part of the country, would not be anonymous. They would have been handed over by now. The insurgents and other criminals who are disturbing us, are not ghosts but humans, nevertheless they are a tiny minority. They can never withstand a united and determined people who take their security seriously,” he reiterated.
Aregbesola acknowledged that formidable military might and cutting-edge technology are necessary in the fight against crime and criminality, observing that without the support of the people, they may be ineffective.
“The government needs the support of the people in confronting a mobile, flexible and fluid insurgents that hide among the people,” he emphasised.
Also speaking, Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured that the Government and people of Borno would continue to support the efforts of the Federal Government to restore peace and security in the state.
He thanked the President Buhari-led administration for liberating a substantial part of the state and the North-East from the grip of the insurgents, adding that some time ago, 23 of the 27 local government areas of Borno State were under the firm control of the insurgents. He said the concerted efforts of the Federal Government in calling for military intervention, the situation had been reversed.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba, pledged the support of the traditional rulers to the Federal Government in its efforts towards finding lasting peace and security in all parts of the country.
The stakeholders’ engagement was also attended Ministers of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, retd; Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Chairman Senate Committee on Interior and his counterpart in the House of Representatives; IGP, Mohammed Adamu; Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, Ahmed Ja’faru; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Mohammad Babandede; Controller-General, Federal Fire Service, FFS, Dr. Liman Ibrahim; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Muhammadu Gana Abdullahi; and traditional rulers among other vant stakeholders on matters of internal security.