By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
National Peace Committee (NPC) has called for the rejig of the security agencies to better to enable them tackle the nationwide insecurity.
The committee, which made the appeal in a communiqué signed by its chairman and former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said the members were particularly worried about how overstretched the security services had become and were being deployed for duty to almost every conflict – terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and outright criminality – that is occurring in all nooks and crannies of the country.
Part of the decision reached at the end of their meeting and as contained in the communiqué included that the Nigeria government “should recruit more security personnel. The recruitment should be inclusive and representative of all regions. This is to ensure that no group or region feels marginalised and excluded.
“Make a concerted effort in reviewing all training manuals for security agencies. Additionally, the government should re-equip and re-kit the security agencies with weapons fit for modern warfare.
“Promote effective and fruitful coordination between the various security services and government institutions.
“In line with the constitution, deploy more resources to support the fight against insecurity and considering the link between poverty and insecurity, the government should, at all levels, address the wider structural issues such as poverty and unemployment that promote insecurity,” NPC said.
The committee also urged the government to “look at the growing perception of corruption in the acquisition of equipment to tackle insecurity”, noting that “the Nigerian government should create an independent security resource management unit that will assess, procure and provide timely delivery of equipment, resources and welfare to the security agencies and set up an effective communications strategy to clearly articulate and communicate their conflict policies to Nigerians. This should include a general reorientation of the populace to mobilize citizens and rebuild their trust in the government.”