From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the country’s security architecture, if the war against terrorism, armed banditry and kidnapping must be won.
The call came yesterday during a two-day Northern Nigeria Security Conference held in Kaduna yesterday.
Convener of the conference, Dr. Usman Bugaje, said the Buhari administration’s approach to the security challenges has failed.
Similarly, a member of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, said regardless of efforts of the security agencies, Nigeria would keep wallowing in crises, if the population growth rate continues to be higher than the country’s economic growth rate.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Bugaje said: “What is happening in Nigeria today in terms of security is known to everybody.
A lot of killings and atrocities are under-reported. We have a situation where things were deteriorating and still deteriorating and every move by the security agency is not translating to positive results.
“It becomes necessary, therefore, to re-examine the situation and explore the community approach. We want to see what community can do so that we can come together and salvage this country.
“We have brought experts, even though many of them have retired from security forces, so they can bring their expertise and see how the communities can complement the efforts of the security agencies.
“Now, we are not here to blame any particular person. And in this two-day security conference, we did underscore a few points of action.
There is the need to take this issue of security very seriously with all responsibility. There should be no room for politics or joke here.
“Secondly, I did say that a citizen will have a responsibility to participate and to show when the government is not delivering, even if it is under dictatorship or in the circumstance that we are.”
He added: “So, we want people who are holding government’s positions from the lowest up to the President to understand that what they have been doing on security is not working. This is because, it is the citizens who can tell you whether what you are doing is working or not.
“The third point we are considering is the fact that citizens seem to have lost their courage to tell the truth. But this is important in our kind of setting because we are not sure if the President is getting the truth. We want to make sure those that are making policies and strategies are listening to the truth. It is important that whatever we see to be truth we say it.”
Aremu, in his own view, said: “Regardless of the efforts of the security agencies, Nigeria will continue to have crises, if the country’s population growth rate continues to be higher than economic growth rate.
“Regardless of whether we armed the security agencies to combat the security challenges, if the number of unemployed youths continues to increase more than that of the security operatives, there is bound to be problem.”
One of the keynote speakers, Abubakar Sadiq Muhammed, said the present blanket approach employed by security forces to tackle insecurity cannot give the results the country needs.