The Chairman, Board of Director of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Maj. Gen. India Garba (rtd) has challenged state governors to devote part of their monthly security votes in promoting intelligence gathering by locals that will aid the work of security agencies.
Garba made the charge while expressing worries over the growing spate of insecurity in some parts of the country
He said the most effective means of getting on top of the recurring security challenges in the states is through intelligence, stating that it is the information provided by the people on ground that are processed into actionable intelligence which the security forces will use to nip the crisis in the bud.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Gen Garba commended the security forces especially the military for their unwavering commitment in tackling internal security challenges in some parts of the country.
He stated that security remain everybody’s business and therefore the people must play their own role in arresting the unfortunate situation by providing accurate and timely information to the security agents.
“The military and security agents cannot be everywhere and will not be able to know when things are going wrong, and in some cases, security agents have limitations due to terrain or cultural barriers and as such require the full cooperation and support of the people to be on top of the situation”.
He added that the people’s attention needs to be drawn to the role or responsibility of the governors in the overall security architecture of the country, noting that it is rather too lame for any governor to say he is helpless in times of crisis.
He reiterated that it should be the responsibility of governors to ensure that the people are willing and able to cooperate with the security agents by providing timely information needed in staving off attacks or mitigating crisis.
He therefore advised the governors to deploy part of the humongous amount they set aside every month as security votes into intelligence gathering.
“The governors receive statutory allocation and set aside a large chunk as security vote; what do they do with the money? Are they not supposed to deploy such monies into intelligence gathering, and in so doing assisting the security operatives in their domains to be on top of the evolving security breaches? Unfortunately, some of these governors divert these monies to other self-serving ventures and some don’t even relate with the people in such a way as to generate information from the people, only to heap blames on the Federal government each time there is crisis.
So, it is not enough to make a show of the unfortunate situation in order to curry sympathy when you ignored the basic preventive measures or steps that will nip the crisis in the bud”.
The elder statesman who is a key stakeholder in Benue State stated that in spite of the machinations of a few ill-intention politicians in Benue State who are hell bent on poisoning the minds of the people with their unconscionable narratives, majority of Benue people are solidly behind President Muhammad Buhari and are more than ever determined to que behind him and support him in consolidating his landmark achievements. He said it was regrettable that some so-called leaders in Benue are capitalizing on the unfortunate killings in the state to play politics. He decried the antics of such politicians who are working day and night to poison the minds of the people with false and toxic narratives against the Federal Government, thinking that their negative politics can stop or prevent President Buhari from winning the forth coming election in the state. He advised them to channel their energies into more productive and unifying ventures instead of spreading hateful and divisive messages as Benue people are ever solidly behind the president and ready to cast their votes for him, come 2019.
Gen Garba who was an Infantry officer and logistics expert in the Army, warned that the protracted security challenges in Benue State is never in the interest of the people and admonished the political actors in the state to reevaluate their roles and do those things that will uplift and benefit the people instead of engaging in and pursuing self-serving, narrow political interests.
“We acknowledge that there are security problems but given the sensitivity of the problems, it should be resolved in peaceful and diplomatic manner not in any bellicose manner.
Even wars come to an end only when men come to the round table for peaceful meeting. In as much as lives have been lost, very unfortunate as it is, the path of peaceful resolution remains the best means to sustainable peace and security”.
“The political desperadoes who are orchestrating divisiveness and bitterness in the state should understand that what the people are interested in is peace and security, and that this is possible only when we elites join hands with Federal Government to build bridges of understanding in the state and collapse the wall of mutual distrust and suspicion.
They should also understand that the masses are solidly behind the president and will still vote for him in the next election to perfect the good job he has started. The will of the people must triumph over the machinations of hypocrites who are now running from pillar to post and defecting from one party to the other”, he concluded.