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Tackle Poverty To Address Insecurity, Northern Leaders Tell Govs



Northern leaders under the aegis of the apex socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday tasked governors from the region to tackle poverty in order to address insecurity in the area.

Secretary general of ACF, Mr Anthony Sani, also urged state governors to unite and address the security crisis.

South-west governors last Thursday launched a security network called ‘Operation Amotekun’ in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

However, while proferring a solution on how the insecurity crisis in the North can be dealt with, the ACF scribe said, “Northern governors should prioritise insecurity by addressing the underlying causes of insecurity which are poverty that comes with unemployment and ignorance as well as pressurising the national government to provide enough trained and equipped security personnel,” Sani said.

Reacting to the Northern governors comment that they won’t adopt South-west approach to tackle insecurity, Sani said, “I have said it over and over again that there can be no cavil with the significance of governors coming together to unleash their synergistic potential against collective challenges for common good within the practice of democracy that thrives on rule of law.”

He added, “If the Northern governors decide to adopt different approaches from those of South-west, there is nothing wrong, since there is no consensus by the governors of the South-west on how best to go about their own model called Amotekun.”

He noted that the security challenge facing the nation is caused by inadequate number of trained and equipped security personnel.

“I do not see how 150,000 soldiers and 450,000 policemen, most of whom are ill trained and not adequately equipped, can secure the nation. Until the nation can have enough number of trained and equipped soldiers and policemen,  we cannot say state police will do better than the Nigerian Police Force,” the ACF scribe stated.

Speaking also on the spate of insecurity in the North, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has advocated for Hizbah in Kano State and the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) operating in some northern states to be remodeled to help in tackling insecurity.

They made the suggestion against the backdrop of the creation of a security outfit, Amotekun by the South-west governors.

A statement signed by the national publicity secretary of SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat said, “the recent attacks underscore the urgent need for a vibrant, government funded and staffed vigilante organisation for every community in Southern Kaduna and indeed the entire Middle Belt Region.

“It is evident that in states and regions where such organisations exist, as we have the Hizbah in Kano State, the Civilian JTF in Yobe and Borno States and the recent Amotekun established by the South-west governors, there is greater assurance of safety for the people.

“Adopting this security measure for our communities will not only improve security but ensure greater safety for our people. We strongly support what the Yoruba States have done by establishing Amotekun to secure and protect all law-abiding citizens in their domain.

“We look forward to the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Ohanaeze N’digbo toeing the same path of the Yoruba States to assist security agencies in protecting their communities,” the statement said.

SOKAPU also drew the attention of all government authorities, the general public and the International Community to what it described as “continuous deadly siege and violent attacks on Southern Kaduna Communities urging the government to address the security challenge.”

Meanwhile, vice president, Industrial Global Union (IGU) , Comrade Issa Aremu has called for caution over the emergence of the security network named ‘Operation Amotekun’ recently launched by the South-west governors.

Comrade Aremu who is also a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) made the call in his speech to mark his 59th birthday which he celebrated in Illorin, Kwara State.

According to speech which was made available to newsmen in Kaduna State,  “the fear is that this new initiative about security at sub-national level may be out of fear than reasoned and well thought out security strategy. For one security like many critical issues like capital and labour controls are on the exclusive list of the constitution.

“The hope is that Operation Amotekun is not another state police without constitutional consideration and legitimacy in a Federation. Who can train and arm youths for security in Federation? Do they have power of intelligence gathering, arrest and prosecution? How does the Operation Amotekun relate with the existing Nigeria Police Force? Who pays and what are they paid” he queried.

“My suggestion is that both the Federal and state governments should have preventive approach to issue of security. There is a link between poverty, unemployment and rising crimes.

“It’s time state governments reinvented industries and create decent sustainable jobs instead of unnecessarily and uncritically arming the youths in the name of security.

“All states should key to the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in creating 100 million jobs in 10 years. A million federal and state police men will be overwhelmed by 80 million unemployed while 80 million fully employed youths would minimize crimes and make the jobs of police easier in maintaining security” he averred.