A former United Nations Under-Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, yesterday advised the federal government to devote more resources to the prevention of insecurity across the country.
He said this is the only way through which the government could achieve the desired result in its fight against terrorism and other security challenges confronting the country.
Gambari said that this approach should be adopted instead of making excessive budgetary provision for the fight against terrorism and other security challenges facing the country.
He said the government must spend less in the campaign but devote more resources to prevention of insecurity, which he described as “most cheap”.
He spoke at the annual conference of Centre for Ilorin Studies of the University of Ilorin held at the institution’s Main Campus.
Gambari, who is the Chancellor of Kwara State University, Malete, noted that the military had to be equipped to confront threat to nation’s security though, the government should be cautious in committing huge resources.
He regretted that terrorism has assumed a dangerous dimension turning from global perception to continental and local and noted that about 25 African countries have been ravaged by act of terrorism.
Gambari faulted the government’s approach to the fight against insecurity in the country without tackling challenges of poverty, politics of exclusion, marginalisation and youth unemployment.
Liking the robbery attack in Offa, Offa local government area of Kwara State, which left 17 people dead, to terrorism, the former Minister of External Affairs called for improved security system to prevent such attack in the future.
“In our approach to addressing the challenges of security, we tend to address only one aspect; the military and physical threat to security. And that is why we deploy security forces all over Nigeria to what is essentially police duty, what is essentially community policing duty, what is essentially what traditional rulers and authorities ought to be addressing.
“But we don’t address it sufficiently to be mindful that it is none military threat to security, such as poverty, political exclusion, marginalisation, youth unemployment and the state of the nation, because Offa, Ilorin, Kwara State, we are part of the world and that is why we must, in addressing the security challenges of our state, look at the context.
“We must make Nigeria we want, Nigeria of our dreams so that it is not just a mere geographical expression but a community of inclusive, sharing common values and aspirations. That is what is called nation building. And if you don’t build a nation, problem will destroy it for you.
“Most of us who have travelled far and wide, we know that Nigeria is not where it should be and not near where it can be. It is my view that in order to redeem economic ground, which we have lost and to move the country forward, we need to embark on concerted effort to make main set of changes; structural policy and attitudinal.
“And nowhere is it more evident than the security challenges facing our country, because you cannot have development without peace. So there is a link between security and development.
“The most extreme form of insecurity is terrorism, and this scourge of terrorism and violent extremism is not only global but it has become continental, national and local.
“In fact, over the last few years, the threat of violent extremism and terrorism had risen to alarming global proportion and African continent has not been spared. Let me give you some statistics. 25 African countries experienced one form of terrorism attack in one form or another.
“So, we can see the future now. The future is bleak unless we make effort, and this is again where I differed from some of the approaches. We should spend less money on just equipping our military. That is security services, yes, we need to equip, fight physical threat to security. But we should spend more resources on prevention, as we know that prevention is better than cure and at least, most cheap”, Gambari said.
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