The national President of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to change its non-effective approach to securing Nigerians and imbibe the 21st-century measure which he noted has worked effectively in the developed world.
Akpodoro stated this on the sideline of a well-attended meeting of selected leaders of thought in the Niger Delta region held in Abuja over the weekend as he called on the FG to stop the ‘archaic’ reactive measure to embrace intelligence gathering in what he described as a globally accepted concept of proactive security.
He noted with concern that the current administration is faltering and seemingly losing the war on banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, the menace of unknown gunmen owing to its application of kinetic action at all times stating that a non-kinetic approach revolving around effective actionable intelligence gathering will nip in the bud crimes and criminalities.
The Urhobo Delta State-born former warlord noted that the money is disbursed to the state governors at the end of every month in the name of security vote is enough to secure the entire country perfectly well if the stakeholders are effectively carried along by the governors, who he described as excessively greedy.
According to Akpodoro, the FG should stop disbursing security votes to governors but rather give the same to notable community leaders strictly under the supervision of the security agencies. The kings or leaders of thoughts in all communities across the country can manage such security votes effectively without any hitch or security.
“Intelligence gathering,” according to Akpodoro, “is domiciled in the communities across the country, which is why he added that only community-based intelligence gathering can solve the problem of insecurity in Nigeria.”
The fearless former warlord, who doubles as the Coordinator of Urhobo Youth Forum for Change, UYFC, stressed further that the governors do not expend ten per cent of their monthly security votes on state issues saying, such funds end up in private pockets while the citizens are left at the mercy of surging and marauding criminals.
“If care is not taken,” Akpodoro said, “Nigeria may become submerged by the activities of criminal elements until the FG changes its tactics by meaningfully engaging the locals in intelligence gathering and also encourage citizens to come up with reliable information.”
“The world over,” Akpodoro noted, “security is expensive and the FG should be willing to pay Nigerians ‘handsomely’ for useful information and intelligence gathering like it is done in other climes without which he maintained that surmounting the national security challenges may remain a mirage.”
He stated that the President should make the kings and their subjects – community leaders take charge of security in their domain and hold them responsible should there be a breakdown in security in such areas, but was quick to add that such community leaders must be well remunerated.
“With this in place,” Akpodoro continued, “the security of lives and properties will rest upon the shoulders of the locals and at the same time put security votes into better use and the police will be more effective owing to actionable intelligence at its disposal from time to time.”
Recall that, Akpodoro has been since the declaration of the Presidential Amnesty in the Niger Delta region in 2009, hand in glove with the Nigerian security apparatus, building and enforcing security in the region. He played a pivotal role in the disarmament of reluctant militants who didn’t want to embrace the PAP and most recently is crippling the renewed insurgency in the region led by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA in 2016.
A community-based security intelligence gathering, Akpodoro argued, would create employment and also serve as a way of engaging and “rewarding those of us who have faithfully supported the stability of the current administration.”
“To me, the issue of security is paramount because you have to be alive to be a Nigerian and we all are stakeholders in the security of lives and properties. This federal is not changing approach and that is key. When a crime is committed, the criminals can correctly predict the FG’s approach of shooting and shooting without end.
“War against crimes and criminalities has shifted from shooting to hitting targets one in a while and achieving huge results by the use of intelligence gathering and this also proactive in nature. You don’t allow a criminal to carry out an offensive on the state before rushing out to shoot. We have very beautiful and well-trained security agencies but putting them to work is the problem.
“The Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Department of State Security, DSS, the Police, NSCDC should be made to work for their pay and also engage locals to gather intelligence for the conventional security. If a criminal can pay for information, what stops the FG from paying Nigerians for intelligence gathering,” Akpodoro queried, wondering when President Buhari will overcome the daunting security challenges confronting his government from all angles.