By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
The spate of insecurity plaguing the country can only be curbed if the system is restructured to bring authority and control to the local levels of governance.
Also, the only way to avert mass implosion and social revolution is to embark on mass programmes of human capital development, human development, employment, social services and social welfare, while making extensive efforts in reducing socio-economic inequality and poverty.
These were the views of Professor Augustine Ikelegbe of the University of Benin while speaking at the memorial lectures and tributes in honour of the deceased Director-General of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, held at the Institute in Kuru, near Jos.
Professor Ikelegbe who spoke on the topic; “The proliferation of small arms and the steaming conundrum of insecurity in Nigeria: Prospects for control and sustainable security” noted that “The Nigerian society is being progressively militarized and plagued with a gun and violent culture. Internal insecurity is driving arms proliferation and prevalence, and facilitating local wars, crimes, violent attacks and fatalities. With rising insecurity, individuals, communities and governments are spending scarce resources for protection and safety.
“There is a growing loss of farm agriculture as farmers now avoid farmlands because of fear of being attacked. Large and small farms and their crops and farm produce have been destroyed by criminal herdsmen, terrorists and bandits. Farmers are being driven or sacked from farmlands, some of which have been forcefully taken.
“The state of insecurity is accentuating economic decline. It is increasing unemployment, under-employment and poverty. It is causing the decline in agricultural output and the scale of activities in business, commerce and trading. It is reducing economic investments and even foreign direct investment.
“There has been so much agitation for restructuring, but the truth is that the only basis and structure for efficient management of the economy, governance, security and policing is bringing authority and control to local and state levels. A State Policing framework for example is imperative.
“Good governance is crucial to the performance of state roles in public sector management, economy and security. Equal and equitable treatment, fairness and equal access to the leadership of all state agencies, as well as employment, appointments, postings, promotions and remunerations, is the minimum required for motivation, efficiency and performance, and for building legitimacy for public institutions and the State.”
He stressed that “The Nigerian State has to gain the citizens back. There have been some semblances and mini manifestations of the uprising against the Nigerian State and its agencies such as #ENDSARS protests. The only way to avert mass implosion and social revolution is to embark on mass programmes of human capital development, human development, employment, social services and social welfare while making extensive efforts in reducing socio-economic inequality and poverty.
“The State has to reconnect with citizens by seeking and improving their trust and confidence which has considerably been eroded. The State also has to redeem itself from elite bias and double loyalties; repair the rupturing statehood; embark on institutional reawakening; ensure inclusive development; mobilize the youths for development; shift the focus from huge governance cost to material and economic development; improve fair and more productively oriented resource allocation and management; ensure good governance in all sectors; design effective policy frameworks for sustainable development; and address leadership deficits.”
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was a special guest of honour in a virtual discussion described the late DG as a very hardworking person, a team player who distinguished himself in whatever he did.
Tributes came from individuals and groups who extolled his qualities and asked for them to be emulated.