The Executive arm of government and the Senate yesterday widened the search for solutions to the mounting nationwide security challenges. While the federal government inaugurated a committee to examine the necessity or otherwise for the much-canvassed state police, the Upper House of the National Assembly and the Police High Command had a two-hour brainstorming session on how to better police the country.
The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who inaugurated the committee, said that it was to strengthen internal security framework and community policing in Nigeria.
Mustapha, who performed the function in his office, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had tasked the Senior Executive Course 40, 2018 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic studies (NIPSS), Kuru near Jos, Plateau State to undertake a study of the rising insecurity in Nigeria.
He said that the theme of the study was “Strengthening policing in Nigeria: Policing options and strategies”, pointing out that the scope of the study focused on ways of invigorating the internal security system and covered the period from 1999 to 2018.
The SGF said the report identified some factors militating against a comprehensive internal security framework and community policing in Nigeria.
He listed the problems to include poor policy linkages, multiplicity and poor implementation of policies, centralised control of the police force, weak monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms.
Others are poor application of technology and innovation, absence of integrated database to aid internal security management, poor budgetary allocation to the security sector as well as lack of confidence and trust in the country’s security agencies by the Nigerian public.
The SGF said that the committee, which is expected to submit its report within two months, among others, has the following terms of reference: “To study and analyse the findings, recommendations and implementation strategies of the Presidential Parley Report by NIPSS and come up with policy statement for the consideration of Mr. President.”
According to him, in the last one decade or thereabouts, there have been strong agitations for government to introduce state police in the country, stressing that these similarly dominated discussions at the National Conference convened in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mustapha said: “The agitations have not abated since the coming on board of this administration and not even the resources deployed into tackling the various hydra-headed security challenges in the country coupled with the high level of successes recorded by this government so far, has succeeded in dampening the agitations.
“You are aware that some of the agitators do not predicate their arguments on empirical study. Some are more reactionary than factual. You are equally aware that this administration does not play to the gallery and thus, does not act based on mere calls with all shades of opinion.
“This administration, therefore, prefers to address issues from the fundamental stand point. The recommendations of the report you are going to study, is a result of painstaking research, study and comparative analysis.
“The report was based on broader consensus and that is why government deems it necessary to prioritise the study of its recommendations for implementation,” he stated.
The membership of the committee include Dr. (Mrs.) Amina M.B. Shamaki – SSO – chairman, Mrs. Beatrice E. Jeddy-Agb – Federal Ministry of Justice – member, Mrs. Odunbanjo O. Adebisi Ministry of Interior – member. Sanusi Galadim – Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) – member, Brig-Gen J.O. Ochai – Nigerian Army (NA) – member, Cdre J.N. Mamman – Nigerian Navy (NN) – member.
Others are Air Cdre A.H. Bakari – Nigerian Air Force (NAF) – member, AIG David O. Folawiyo – Nigeria Police Force (NPF) – member, Jimat Bakare – Department of State Services (DSS) – member, CP Olayinka Balogun – Police Service Commission (PSC)- member, Dr. E.O. Adeoye, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) – member, Dr. Joseph Ochogwu – Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) – technical expert, Prof. Sani Abubakar Lugga – NPF – technical expert, Dr. Nasirudeen Usman, – NIPSS – technical expert and Tukur Yahaya – SSO – secretary
Police Beam Searchlights On Officers Aiding Bandits, Kidnappers
Meanwhile, the Senate has been assured by the NPF that it has beamed its searchlight on officers and men allegedly aiding bandits and kidnappers to carry out their nefarious activities.
There have been various accounts of victims of kidnapping that the criminals always boast of having the backing of some police officers and other security personnel in carrying out their operations.
Also, videos posted by some bandits have indicated that they get vital information of any planned strike by security forces ahead of time.
Consequently, the acting inspector-general of police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, told the lawmakers that the NPF under him, had taken serious measures to stem the menace of kidnappings and killings in the country with serious sanctions for men and officers found culpable.
Briefing senators when he met with them at a closed-door session yesterday, Adamu, who highlighted some of the measures he had taken, said his officers and men had been placed under serious watch.
The Senate had on April 30, 2019 invited the IGP to brief them on the measures he had put in place to tackle the rising security challenges, especially in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna, and other states of the federation following a motion from Senator Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna).
Adamu’s appearance gladdened the hearts of senators who pledged to work with him for the safety of all Nigerians and their property.
The IGP was ushered into the Senate chamber for the meeting in the company of the presidential adviser on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang at about 11:20am. The meeting lasted till 1:47pm.
Having approved the votes and proceedings for the previous legislative day, the senators shelved the presentation of bills and reports and went into a closed-door meeting with the IGP because of the sensitive nature of the parley.
At the end of the meeting, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki who sought for his colleagues’ endorsement of what they discussed with the IGP, said the police authorities agreed that any officer found culpable on the security issues would be dealt with.
He said: “The Nigeria Police briefed us on efforts at ameliorating the situation and the challenges. However, he (IGP) hoped to address the menace squarely. He promised to address the areas that have to do with discipline of officers who have been found wanting, efforts being taken to improve the situation particularly on the Abuja-Kaduna axis, and also in the area of intelligence and technology.”
“The Senate also promised and committed itself in the areas of funding of the police, we are ready at any time to give assistance, to provide adequate funding in order to enable the police combat the necessary threats to our security,” Saraki said.
In his response, Adamu said: “Our engagement went very well. They sought to know the strategy we have put in place to address the challenges of insecurity within the country.
“We’ve expanded the strategy in other to mitigate the challenges. They have appreciated what we presented and gave suggestions on how we can enhance the strategy. They have agreed to support us in every area they can to make the country secured,” he said.
Adamu added that since policing is dynamic in dealing with crime, the number of personnel can never be enough.
He said: “The government is doing its best. Every year we are recruiting. This year again we have about 10,000 to recruit. Very soon, we will get to the number we require for us to deploy to fight crime.”
Responding to the allegations by women arrested at a night club that some police officers harassed and raped them, the IGP said that it was a task force operations but added that he had setup a panel of investigation into the matter.
“The raiding of the women was a task force from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) that came out to do its job. They asked the police to support them, which the police did. Women were arrested, charged and were convicted, which means they committed an offence within the territory.
“But the allegations that police officers molested the women, we have set up an investigative panel and any officer found guilty will face the law,” he said.
NAF Kills 20 Bandits In Zamfara
In its sustained raid of criminals, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that its Air Task Force (ATF) for “Operation Diran Mikiya” has neutralised 20 fighters and destroyed a camp belonging one Alhaji Lawal, a kingpin near Rugu Forest in Zamfara State.
NAF director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement he issued yesterday, said that the feat was accomplished in a dawn attack executed on April 26, 2019 after credible intelligence indicated that the notorious kingpin was camped along with dozens of his fighters at a settlement about 4 Km West of Rugu Forest.
He said that the location is where the crime kingpin keeps his logistics supplies, coordinates operations and launches attacks against security forces as well as innocent civilians.
“Consequently, following detailed confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, the ATF dispatched one Alpha Jet and an attack helicopter to strike the camp.
“The Alpha Jet strikes recorded direct hits on the camp destroying the armed bandits’ structures, fuel storage containers, arms, explosives and other logistics supplies, which were seen engulfed in flames,” he said
Daramola stated that the helicopter carried out mop-up attacks on the target in which over 20 armed bandits were neutralised.
He restated that the NAF, working in consonance with surface forces and other security agencies, would sustain its operations to flush the bandits out of the North West zone.
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