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Private security companies not ripe to be licensed to carry arms -Dr Anyasi

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 Speaking on the need for better security synergy towards curbing various security challenges in the country is a Security Consultant, Dr. Island Anyasi, who is also the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sheriff Deputies limited. He spoke at the weekend, stating why Federal Government must do all it can to empower the Army, Police, and other sister agencies fighting insurgency, banditry, herdsmen kidnapping etc, while maintaining that the proliferation of arms in the country has made things worse but doubts that if the government decides to license private security companies to carry arms will solve the challenges of security problems.

The Security Challenges facing Nigeria such as ethnic clashes with herdsmen, destroying of farmlands, kidnapping, rape and causing tribal conflict; Boko Harm insurgency, armed banditry and other heinous crimes, which is dominant in the North is as a result of arms proliferation.

The questions therefore is, how did they get these arms, who are their sponsors, and what has government on their own part done to curtail these ugly situations. Certainly, the government has not done enough now, because of the lack of political-will of our leaders to holistically deal with security situation in the country, they seem to have remained mute and it is now dividing the country, creating ethic and religious conflict, putting fear of the unknown and of course, tension.

Other criminal activities are also going on within the nook and cranny of this country, like ritual killing at its ebb, cyber-crime and arm robbery. How did Nigeria got to this stage is what most of us in the Security business find so hard to understand.

Unemployment has also contributed to some of these unrests and government hard policy against the wish of the ordinary Nigerians. I think this should be looked into because after the ENDSARs protest last year October, which worsened the security challenges in the country, where wanton destruction of properties and lives were lost, the country lost her pride in the security arrangement.

Should private security guards be allowed to carry arm, as a means to help security situation I have mixed feelings, that we might still experience some difficulty in this if government decides to license private security guards to carry arms, but if properly implemented with background checks, sufficient training and targeted deployment, it might work.

However, why some private security personnel should carry arms is majorly for VIPs protection otherwise outside this, I do not see any justification for private security to carry arms. Now, is the private security companies ready to bear arms without abuse or ready to increase pay of their security guards, are they ready to embark on more sophisticated training with better pay, are clients ready to pay more? These are the issues, which are major factors in decision making.

Way forward
Yes, there must be accountability and sincerity in dealing with insecurity, there must be transparency, reform system approach, manpower training of our security personnel/development and security synergy, there must be government readiness to sincerely adopt inclusive approach and diligence without compromise or favoritism.

Only this, we can have peace and if government apply radical restructuring and overhauling of security agencies,
there is the possibility of a breakthrough in the security architecture and most of the challenges will heal the inefficiency of the system.

Criminal cases must not be swept away under the guise of pretense or favoritism. Duplication of functions of the country’s security arrangement must be addressed, also Community policing needs to be transparently implemented across the country. This will give way to the solution of insecurity. Buhari’s administration is making efforts and we must all support the fight against insecurity.

I will also advocate for more government sincere security partnership more with the private security companies.
Although, there is a partnership between the government and private security companies mediated by the Nigerian Civil Defense Corp, who monitors private security companies and through them, companies are licensed to provide man guarding services to individual or corporations who desire to have an extra layer of security presence at different premises, but we need its proactiveness. That is the reason I said, more partnership and information gathering and intelligent approach are needed.

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