Growing insecurity and wanton destruction of lives and property across the country consumed the attention of delegates yesterday as most challenged the conference to make far reaching recommendations that would bring lasting solutions to the problems.
According to the delegates, the surge in insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery and all such violence across the length of breadth of Nigeria were products of bad governance and lack of economic security and requires frontal attacks to curb.
North-west representative and former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie, said that the entire Northern Nigeria and most parts of the country have been subjected to insecurity with the resultant loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.
“There is no part of Nigeria that is not being affected by insurgency. Since 2009, the citizens of North-Eastern states are being killed and property worth billions of naira destroyed. We should therefore look at these issues holistically and ensure that we provide security for Nigeria,” Coomassie said.
Another delegate, retired Brig- Gen Muhammad Ali, representing Zamfara state, said that the growing menace of insecurity has made “life is not worth a penny anymore. The 1999 constitution states that the security and the welfare of the citizens shall be the primary responsibility of the government.
“Therefore, the nation has to wake up to its constitutional responsibility by safeguarding lives and property,” he said stressing that the security situation in the country has deteriorated so much that no place is safe from the scorch of insurgency.
Also adding his voice during the debate on President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech to the conference, Chief Edwin Clark, said the insurgency in North East Nigeria should not be seen as the problem of a particular region but a national menace.
Accordingly, he said the insurgency in the North East must be confronted headlong as a national problem that needs collective efforts to, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations, to bring to a conclusive end.
“The 29 young children that died in Yobe, those who killed them did not differentiate between Christians and Muslims. Therefore, let us tolerate one another, let us be patriotic, we have no other country to go to.
“If you are a northerner or a southerner and we do not live together, then there will be no Nigeria; there will be no basis for us to come here,” Clark said.
In apparent reference to Brig. Gen. Ali’s call for a complete overhaul of the security agencies to ensure that they face their constitutional responsibilities accordingly, Chief Clark suggested that the security agencies be strengthened and motivated to do their work.
Former Governor of Nasarawa state, Aliyu Akwe Doma, said the security challenges in parts of the country was a reflection of the national menace confronting Nigeria as an entity noting that unless Nigerians rise as one to tackle it t would not only linger but consume the country.
Dr Fati Adamu, representing Kebbi, speaking as a mother, shook the conference into rude silence as she challenged the delegates to take profound decisions that would solve the security challenges.
“As mothers and as women, we carry pregnancies for nine months, endured the pains of labour, and delivered the children just for them to be slaughtered.
“We endure the pains of childbirth and we also spent sleepless nights raising these children, please enough is enough. As a mother and as a woman, we are pleading that whoever is involved, please stop killing our children,” she pleaded.