By Tunde Oguntola, Kaduna
The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has said the way security agencies act on security threats in the country was unacceptable.
The governor said security forces must collaborate to take over the forests and secure the country as a whole.
el-Rufai spoke at the ongoing town hall meeting on national security in Kaduna on Thursday.
He also called for a swift response from security agencies to address the menace of banditry in the North-West and North-Central.
Governor el-Rufai said people must be allowed to do their legitimate businesses, travels, and farming without fear.
“There is no other way to tackle this than to collaborate,” he added.
To crush the bandits and other violent criminals, el-Rufai said the police and other security agencies needed to be adequately funded and equipped adequately.
He lamented that the country does not have enough security agents to secure the country.
On the issue of state police, the governor stressed the need for more security personnel to be recruited, saying that there were no enough police officers in the country.
He, however, called for the decentralisation of the police and promptly replace the current centralised police with state police and other levels of policing.
The governor also said that the justice system was fraught with a lot of challenges including slow speed.
He said: “Our justice system is too slow encouraging criminals and making Nigerians resorting to self-help.
“Court is more on the side of criminals and this is unacceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, the federal government has said that the general state of insecurity and its manifestations in the country pose a dangerous threat to the unity of the country and its continued existence as one indivisible nation.
In his opening remarks at the town hall meeting, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said insecurity, as reflected in incidences of farmers/herders clashes, Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, ethnoreligious clashes, and intolerance, cultism, drug addiction and kidnapping for ransom, are now triggering a rising call for secession as well as the politicisation of ethnic and religious differences.
The minister said the town hall meeting with the theme ‘Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria’ was yet another in a series of efforts of government, in its expansive consultation with stakeholders, to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.
Alhaji Mohammed said the starting point towards addressing the myriads of problems was the building an “elite consensus” on the security, unity, indissolubility, and peaceful existence of Nigeria.
He said such elite consensus had worked in the past.
“How did we get here and what can we do to change the narrative? We believe that finding a way out of the situation in which we have found ourselves requires teamwork, reflecting all diversities, and leveraging on all our collective creativity to pursue with diligence the project of rescuing Nigeria.
“This is why we have decided to bring all critical stakeholders together, under a Town Hall meeting setting, to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward. We expect this Town Hall meeting to develop concrete, implementable resolutions because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome,” he said.
The town hall meeting is the second of its kind in the state to proffer solution to insecurity bedeviling the nation.
The discussants are Prof Saka Nuru, Prof Chudi Uwazurike, Prof Kokunre Eghafona, and Mrs Ibukun Awosika.
Other dignitaries present include ministers of Interior, Defence, Police Affairs, Environment, minister of state for Science and Technology, state governors, amongst others.