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Insecurity: CSOs back regional security outfits

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…call for civility, sustainability

By Gabriel Ewepu

AS activities of kidnappers, bandits, ritualists, armed robbers, cultists, unknown gunmen and insurgents continue to be a thorn in the flesh of Nigerians, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Tuesday, threw their weight behind the establishment of regional security outfits to provide cover for defenseless Nigerians suffering the brunt.

However, they cautioned  governors not to use regional security corps to oppress perceived enemies and gag voice of citizens that will lead to abuse operations, but should allow them operate within the scope of the Act establishing them for professionalism and effective service to the people.

Meanwhile, the CSOs also called for sustainability of the organisation in terms of good pay package, welfare, training, deployment of modern equipment and technology, synergy with federal government security organisations, and exhibition of patriotism with all civility.

Security is purely local affair, regional security acceptable- OLF

The Founder of One Love Foundation, OLF, and also social crusader, Patriot Patrick Eholor, said, “Whats happening is the failure of the federal government to holistically tackle insecurity and the politicization of the machinery and architecture of the military.

“Of course, you were in this country when a retired military general and minister of defence told the world on National TV that a certain tribe is playing god and has politicize the military.

“The creation of these outfits is as a result of this failure and lost of trust and confidence at the centre. It is unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this state of helplessness and division.

“What I had expected the President to do was the decentralization of the security apparatus by giving each region and state the power to defend her people or outright restructuring of the country by considering and implementing  the reports of the 2014 confab to tackle of the challenges bewildering the nation.

“Security is local. The people can easily defend their territory when fully supported and trained. The failed federal security agencies must not sabotage their effort since they have allowed corruption, ethnic and religious sentiment to destroy them.

“We need to have a secured nation and I support every step taken to achieve it. I have severally written to the President and the Senate on the need to fund the police and deal with the issue of religious and tribal sentiments but all seem to be abortive.

“Therefore, the governors should be careful not to use them to intimate their opponents and opposing voices because that will be the end of it. It will fail if they play politics with it rather than using it to defend the people by securing lives and properties.”

Regional security welcomed for safer Nigeria – CDNDC

The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution,  CDNDC, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said,  “Although the South East is coming a bit late into the era of regional security outfits, but it is better late than never as we seek a marginal opportunity of using some local stop gap measure for addressing insecurity in our states.

“I hope the South East Governors have learned some bitter lessons that you do not do political correctness with the security and welfare of the people which is the primary duty of government.

“The grim reality of our country today is the fact that central policing has failed and is incapable of addressing the growing insecurity in the country, and except we restructure the country and create state police, the subnationals will have no option than to embrace regional security outfits.

“However, the South East governors must put in place legislation that will guide the conduct of the new security outfit so that their activities and conducts could be properly regulated and monitored.”

Regional security outfits indict FG’s stance on restructuring- CN

The convener, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, said, “The creation of the South West and South East security network is an indictment on the Federal Government because Nigeria runs a federal system where you have government at the centre and federating units.

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“So there has been debate for true federalism over the years with the centre refusing or resisting these calls, and we can see that the centre is failing, and it is run in such a way that there is Boko Haram operating in the North East, banditry in the North West, terrorists gangs operating in North Central and there are fringes of insecurity all over the southern zones.

“The government at the centre is overwhelmed and that is way the states that are federating units are beginning to tactically restructuring by themselves.

“The restructuring government at the centre is avoiding is what is inevitably happening right now…”

We support regional security to fill gaps created by govt forces-CISLAC

The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said, “The rising insecurity in the country is worrisome, necessitating the proliferation of non-state security actors to fill the gaps in security delivery where the state has not provided or operates with low strength. While the non-state security sector may neither be historically new nor used only in fragile, conflict, failing or failed states, the drivers of its growth differ from country to country.

 

“For Nigeria it is mostly driven by the weak state syndrome and governance failure. The failure continues to affect the performance and management of state security institutions.

“The continuous growth of ungoverned spaces, mostly rural areas and township slums, has led the state governments, street associations, local rural communities, individuals, and others to establish and fund their own security.

“The powers backing such arrangement depend on where each establisher (s)’s authority is derived from. While there is no consensus on the debate on legality or illegality of regional security organisations, they have helped in improving security, but notwithstanding, have in many cases committed illegal and criminal acts by breaching fundamental human rights of the citizens.

“The rationale for using them hinges on people’s trust and confidence in them than they have on state security. There are lessons for the state, regional and other stakeholders in security on the need to build synergy among the providers for effective policing.

“The non-state security sector is not only attractive to weak and fragile states but is also important to strong and stable states. In developed and better-governed societies, the sector supports the state security sector in providing a safe and secure environment for the citizens.

“It is a policing philosophy based on the principle that police officers and community dwellers partner together in such a manner that such synergy solves security-related issues at the community level.

“In 2020, growing violence and insecurity triggered new conversations on creating state police structures across Nigeria. Due to the federal government’s reluctance to give the nod to state police, regional police structures came to be.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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