Bukola Saraki: Senate adopts report on review of Nigeria’s security infrastructure

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Senate adopts report on review of Nigeria’s security infrastructure

The Senate had on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 agreed to revisit calls for State Police.

The Senate has reviewed and adopted the report of its ad-hoc committee on the review of the current security infrastructure.

The lawmakers on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 agreed to revisit calls for State Police.

They also moved to design a framework that will facilitate the mopping up of millions of light weapons suspected to be in circulation in the country.

According to Senate President Buola Saraki, “We have talked about the fact that whether these killings were initial acts of aggression or reprisal attacks, it is clear that either way, it is totally unacceptable and we must condemn it in all totality.

“Secondly, these are acts of criminality and we should not encourage any other colouration to it, be it religious or otherwise. This is criminality. And as such, we have a role to ensure that we must address this criminality to see how we can fight it.

“We have spoken on many platforms and made suggestions to the Executive on the fact that there is a need for an urgent review of the security architecture of the nation.

“The debate in the British House of Lords also raises this point: “How do we think this would affect our economy and investments if we continue to have this kind of security climate?” We must see this issue of insecurity not only from the point of view that there is danger and insecurity, but there is also a danger to our economy — especially if we want to grow our economy.

“We as the Senate must come up with our own actions. We do not need to flog the issue. We have told the Executive what to do. We have told them privately and we have told them publicly. However, on our own part, we must decide on what we need to do.”

Recommendations

The Senate President, on Medium, also listed the recommendations that were adopted. They are:

1. The nation’s basic security infrastructure must be comprehensively reviewed and strengthened. The Nigerian political structure must be a major factor in the review of the nation’s security apparatus.

2. The security challenges of the nation must be isolated from political partisanship, and ethno-religious sentiments. Political activities must not fuel the further deterioration of the nation’s national security.

3.The national security structure must be revised by the Presidency to address the gaps in coordination, collaboration and synergy. Additionally, clear lines of authority and responsibility for national security issues must be identified.

4. Ensure that there is further recruitment to increase the capacity of the Nigerian police, military and other para-military agencies (who are currently overstretched) to deal with the current national security challenges.

5. Ensure that the collaboration between federal security and law and order agencies must be reviewed in order to reduce the exposure of citizens to extra-legal influences.

6. Investments by the federal government must be made in order to incorporate technology into the core of Nigeria’s national security architecture and management.

7. Nigeria must reduce its dependence on importing its basic security equipment and must immediately develop its internal research and development capacities in order to meet our basic national security needs.

8. The Nigerian judiciary must operate with the highest standards of justice in order to ensure that citizens have confidence in our judicial system’s ability to freely and fairly dispense of justice.

9. The nation must examine options other than the use of force in its response to national security issues. The nation must develop strategies to improve the chances of resolving conflicts without resorting to the use of force.

10. The nation must immediately develop a strategy to limit the proliferation of firearms and other light weapons amongst the citizens.

11. Nigeria must assert its sovereignty amongst its neighbours, particular in the areas of arms control, drugs, terrorism, transhumance and economic sabotage. Additionally, all international commitment that impact our domestic national security must be reviewed.

12. The international community has demonstrated its willingness to support Nigeria in the fight against violent groups. In this regard, the nation must improve in areas that inhibit its support from the international community — particularly in the areas of human rights, accountability and transparency.

13. The presence of millions of IDPs in the North-East and millions of others who have had no education or strong social links presents a potent threat to the present and future security of the nation. The nation must immediately develop careful policies and initiatives that are aimed at addressing the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and development of the North-East and the development of the uneducated members of our society.

14. The national growing population may become a major threat to its future, unless substantial and sustained investments are made in the areas of human capital development, particularly education and health. In this regard, a visionary strategy must be developed for the national economy that is aimed at providing quality education, skills development and employment for our nation’s young people.

15. Corruption and wasters are threats to our national security. In this regard, a strong political will, effective policies and improvements must be made to ensure the efficiency of institutions.

16. The entire focus of governments across all levels must target poverty reduction, as poverty is a threat to national security. All current policies must be re-evaluated to ensure that they are effective.

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17. The nation must develop its knowledge and skills in managing its extensive forest reserves in order to turn them into assets. This is because the nation’s demographic indices indicate shifts in our population size, composition, land use and impact of the environment on human economic activities.

18. There is a need to generate the strong political will to improve the policy, legislation, regulatory and enforcement capacities to reduce the damage of the production, importation and consumption of illicit drugs in the nation — which represent a major threat to national security.

19. Government with the State should work out a strategy to integrate the Almajiri system with the Formal Western Educational system.

20. Federal Government should provide low-interest rate loans for herders to develop ranching businesses in the country.

Also, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, while speaking on the killings in various parts of the country, renewed the call for the formation of state police.

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