By Gabriel Ewepu
AS Nigerians continue to strategise to provide security for themselves at all levels, which has led to establishment of regional outfits christened Amotekun and Ebubeagu in South West and South East regions respectively, an international rights organisation, Global Rights Nigeria, Wednesday, asserted that guns and might alone will not tackle the rising insecurity challenge.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Country Director, Global Rights Nigeria, Abiodun Baiyewu, said if government fails to tackle and reduce unemployment and poverty the approach of force would be counterproductive.
Baiyewu also said failure of federal security organisations made governors to take the bull by the horn to float regional security outfits that would provide effective security services, protect lives and property in their regions.
She said: “I think from data available, insecurity is on the rise in Nigeria. We can therefore deduce that security coordination from the Federal level is currently unable to meet the challenge of adequately responding to the challenge.
“Regional leaders are therefore responding as they think most appropriate. All politics is local. You therefore cannot divorce the political nuance from the creation of these security apparatus.
“At the core of insecurity in Nigeria is social inequity and poor development indicators.
“We must tackle underdevelopment and create leverage opportunities for all citizens.
“We also do not have strong local government systems. So guns and might alone will not tackle insecurity.”
On capacity of regional security outfits to tackle insecurity in their domain, she said, “No I frankly do not think so – at least not as they are currently set up. You must agree that responding to security challenges necessitates a multi-pronged approach of strengthened state institutions and security hardware.”
Speaking on the implications for establishing regional security outfits in terms of enforcing the law according to their mandates, she pointed that the courts will be in position to test veracity of their powers.
“Well, if they are devised by law, then they are duly established. The Courts will test the veracity of their powers and we will move on. But let’s be clear, Nigeria’s security architecture is gradually changing. Things are unlikely to go back to what they used to be”, she stated.
However, she said frictions will definitely arise between these outfits with federal security organizations, “Oh there certainly will be! Federal Might should not take the nascent players lightly. They however on both sides must decide to cooperate otherwise they both will complicate an already delicate situation.”
On her advice to governors on controlling them, she said, “Thread with caution and seek to sync operation in a way that maximizes federal and state strengths.”