By Christiana Ekpa
President Muhammadu Buhari said that, most of the security challenges confronting the Nigeria is as the result of international borders which pose enormous challenges to the country, stressing that the “instability in the Lake Chad region alone deserves close attention”.
According to the President, Nigeria shares land borders with Benin, Cameron, Chad and Niger; and maritime boundaries with Equitorial Guinea, Ghana, Saotome and Precipe, which pose national security.
Buhari disclosed these while speaking at the Security Summit organized by the House of Representatives.
The President represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said “This summit could not have come a better time because only a few days ago, Nigeria lost the Chief of Army Staff and a host of other Senior Military Officers in a fatal plane crash involving Nigeria Airforce Asset. This is a painful lost to the nation, the military as an institution and to our efforts to strengthen the security architecture and capacity.
“Security has become major subject of concern at global, regional and national levels. In different continents of the world, terrorism, political conflicts, racism and other forms of criminal activities continue to threaten economic development, peace and security.
At the regional level; Africa these concerns subsist and continue to rage.
“Nigeria shares land borders with Benin, Cameron, Chad and Niger; and maritime boundaries with Equitorial Guinea, Ghana, Saotome and Precipe. The challenges that these international borders pose to our national security and interest are enormous. The instability in the Lake Chad region alone deserves close attention.
“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, our nation has had to grapple with various forms of internal security issues over the past decade in all geopolitical zone. Addressing them effectively to restore safety, peace and security, therefore remains the responsibility of all Nigerians, in and out of public office and our democratic institutions.
“It is with regard to the forgoing that I wish to commend the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Leadership and Members of the the House of Representatives for the vision to convene this special summit. This step, demonstrate that our growing democratic system, institution and ethos provides for us a good platform for various arms of government to collaborate and find solutions to national challenges of all magnitude including security.
“This Special National Summit forms part of the collective effort to identify the root causes of our national security challenges so that we can develop and implement solutions through policies, legislations, plans, budgetary provisions, robust oversight system, bilateral and multilateral engagements that would address our present and future deals.
“Insecurity, as you are aware, impacts on the citizens and the economy and the governance machinery without regard to political, religious, ethnic or other affiliations. It challenges the foundation of our nationhood and stands in the way of our achieving our highest ambitions for Nigeria.
“ I am certain that we shall overcome just as we have done many times throughout our history. However, success at this time requires that we set aside all other considerations and commit ourselves to a common endeavour in the national interest.
“I am informed that the remaining four days of this summit will be held behind closed doors to allow for frank conversations around the four thematic areas of: 1.Local and community level security options and solutions;
2. Strategic kinetic national security solutions 3. Global perspective to insecurity and international factors in national security
4. Non-military security option and solutions.
“I wish to propose that you also consider the question of politics and law, history and economis that are central to our national identity, and yet too often constitute the root causes of our national security challenges.
“I also urge you to remember that the force of arms is most effective only when it is a part of a comprehensive strategic efforts that includes, one, providing quality education, building infrastructure that supports job creation and implementing safety nets programmes that protect the most vulnerable amongst us with the support they need to overcome their dire circumstances.
“It’s my expectation that your deliberations will yield amongst others, specific legislative actions aimed at ensuring more effective operations of the national security agencies relating to matters of one, structured funding of national security agencies. Two, overlapping mandate and interagency conflicts. Three, intelligence sharing. Four, training and welfare of security and defence personnel. Five, non-kinetic security operations and strategies. Six, post conflict rebuilding, amongst others.
“While I look forward to receiving bold and innovative recommendations, I wish to assure you of my support and collaboration of the Executive Arm of Government” he said.