November 27, 2021

INSECURITY: Experts seek inclusion of more women in fight against banditry, others

INSECURITY: Experts seek inclusion of more women in fight against banditry, others

By Nnamdi Ojiego

Security experts, on Thursday, called for inclusion of more women in tackling security challenges in the country.

The security practitioners, who converged at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, for the maiden edition of the Women in Security, WIS, conference, noted that women have enormous role to play in the fight against insecurity ravaging the country.

Participants at the event organised by the ASIS Lagos chapter 206 include senior female security officers from the military, police and the Department of State Service, DSS.

The theme of the conference was: ‘Exploring Diverse Opportunities for Women in the Security Industry’.

The conference chairperson, Tanwa Ashiru, said the programme was to expose women in the Nigerian security sector to the various facets of security and increase their participation in enterprise security risk management.

Game Changers

Ashiru, who is the CEO of Bulwark Intelligence Solutions, said a number of industry groups have been created to offer community, education and networking opportunities for women.

 “Our ASIS Lagos chapter 206 WIS is seeking to ensure women in Nigeria can tap into these available development resources. We also seek to provide inspiration, networking, leadership development and mentorship to women in the security sector by allowing them to hear and learn from game-changers in the industry.”

Breaking New Grounds

The keynote speaker, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, the MD/CEO of SecureID Limited, in her speech titled; “Breaking New Grounds”, charged women not to be discouraged by the challenges in their innovating and disrupting efforts.

According to her, breaking new grounds means doing something that no one else has done or doing something completely different from what others have done. She acknowledged many obstacles in breaking new grounds stressing that only those who were courageous, resilient and focused would succeed.

Effects of War

Speaking, Gender Advisor for Armed Forces of Nigeria, Brig. Gen. Christianah Thomas, noted that the effects of war, conflict, civil unrest and other forms of insecurity have disproportionately impacted on women and children insisting “it is fair to give women opportunity to air their views and help in providing solutions to what affects their life”.

On the issues of gender-based violence, the senior military officer stated that it could be properly handled by women as they have what it takes to end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice. She called for sensitisation and awareness on the need to increase participation of women in the military by encouraging young girls to choose the military as a career  

Enormous Role

In her contribution, DCP Sybil Akinfenwa, noted that women have enormous role to play in conflict resolution and management as peacekeepers and peacebuilders. According to her, women have the wherewithal, strength, energy, and resilience to manage crises.

“There’s a lot of violence against women and the girl child. There’s also herdsmen/farmers clashes, insurgency and militancy. In the midst of this, the men will not be able to forge ahead alone, they need the assistance of women and I just want to say that women should be willing to get up and perform their roles as peace officers. The men cannot do it alone”, the DCP opined.

Paradigm Shift

Also speaking, former General Manager, Security, NNPC, Mr Sam Otoboeze stressed the need for a paradigm shift saying it was time to give women the opportunity to manage the national security asset because they have proven to be more reliable and competent than men.

“We need a paradigm shift. So let’s give the national asset to women to manage. We need to be engaging women more in leadership, we need to start to put them more in the control of assets, we need to engage them more in fighting insecurity in the country.”

Earlier, the Chairman of ASIS Lagos, Peter Okoloh, explained that WIS goals were to share education, motivation and career opportunities in Nigeria and to surround “ourselves with positive mentors and share knowledge. These security women leaders have consistently tried to support, promote and inspire other women in our industry to be exceptional leaders.”