By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
A coalition of 52 Northern groups (CNG) has said the security agencies need the private sector to combat the problem of insecurity in the country.
The organisation’s Director, Strategic Communication, Samaila Musa, who said this in a statement on Thursday, tackled the Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. Gen. Lucky Irabor, for rejecting the admonition of Governor Bello Matawalle for residents of Zamfara state to bear arms as a weapon of self-self-defense.
The coalition noted that even the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), had once called for self-defense amidst incessant killings by terrorists in parts of the country, stressing that doing so was an expression of the human instinct for self preservation.
Musa said, “We wish to remind the CDS that Amotekun, a fully armed security outfit, is operating in Southern Nigeria without a word from him.
“Just a few days ago, 69 communities in the Bukkuyum Local Government of Zamfara State have been ransacked and terrorised. Where was the CDS?
“The perennial and overwhelming nature of the existential security threat for Nigeria is beyond the soldiers alone to handle; hence all hands must be on deck.
“We, therefore, state categorically that communities and people must be brought into the security efforts and strategies in their communities for any meaningful impact to be achieved because excluding people does not proffer solution as we currently observe.”
The CNG also said that the policy for authorisation of the use of firearms by citizens of Zamfara State for self-defense by Governor Matawalle had vindicated it.
“It is high time that the CNG’s suggestions that a security taskforce modelled after Civilian-JTF called “Arewa Security Taskforce” should be revisited.
“Highly reputable and disciplined retired northern security officers in collaboration with traditional institutions and security operatives can work with localities.
“The localities should engage, train and deploy youths in their local communities to protect their villages, towns and cities. The taskforce will have rules of engagement, vehicles, uniform, weaponry and other needs for its operation,” he added.
Musa further disclosed that the CNG has, in its possession, a comprehensive, systematic and verifiable programme structure on how the taskforce can be created, organised and executed which can be adopted, subject to scrutiny and ratification by security experts.