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Published On: Wed, Sep 25th, 2019

Surveyor-General’s Office and national security

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By Abu I. Michael

Nigeria is being thwacked by twisted situation of insecurity. For sure, the citizens have been hesitant of the enormous challenges confronting the Government of Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts geared to attain national reconstruction and sustainable socioeconomic growth and development.
The zeal and commitment of the President in tackling the socioeconomic ills of the country is apparent, his Political will has been demonstrated, but it needs the complementation of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Government for achievements manifestation. Despite the revilement properly induced by misconceptions, or communication gap, the Nigerian Military, the Police and other security agencies have apparently been putting up their best in dealing with the security challenges; the personnel should be appreciated for the sacrifices they make with their precious lives in a bid to enforce peace. The situation of mutual suspicion and lack of comradeship among Nigerians is indeed fanning the embers of hostilities in the country because of mutual suspicion, misconception and wrong interpretations of actions of Government that are based on genuine intention of national interest. The criminals threatening the good people of Nigeria feed largely on this situation to operate successfully and unleashing injuries on innocent lives – maiming, killing, and creating state of disorderliness.
Not just on the part of the Government, the challenge of addressing insecurity is everyone’s business and it lies at the domains of the elders, community and opinion leaders, as well as spiritual leaders from the 6 geopolitical zones of the country to deflate sentiments that are adverse to peaceful coexistence and national unity. The responsibility on them is sacred, and they must therefore be conscious of the fact that posterity will judge their actions for the exultation of criminals and criminality in our fatherland.
Although, the narratives about the criminal elements and their modus operandi and modus vivendi are still opaque and need redefinition because of the colouration under which they operate. The knowledge and general understanding of enemies is necessary for successful prosecution. Nigerians from every background must learn to strongly resist sociopolitical and ethno-religious sentiments which have been impacting on the configuration of the country negatively. To succeed in this, we need to appreciate the fact that Nigeria is a multi-plural state, and must also learn to appreciate the incontestability of the notion that there is great strength in our rich sociocultural diversity. This shows that the country is either or almost adequate in terms of population, endowed human and material resources needed to make useful advancement.
While we continue to hold discourses and chew over the non-disposable idea of evolving a good frame for effective diversity management, let me quickly say that the criminals threatening the good people of this country are not spirits, and therefore can be tracked with appropriate deployment of intelligence and technology. Let me also say that criminals operate and take refuge in locations. I believe that Nigeria has the capacity to adequately deal with the insecurity situation so that the length and breadth of the country may once again experience that relative peace that was hitherto our pride in Africa and the world as a whole. This brings us to the realization and the fact of the centrality of the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation (OSGOF) in boosting the country’s security network and effective war against criminality of whatever degree.
The Government through the OSGOF has acquired the latest Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) towards curtailing criminal activities with the aid of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Continuously Operating Reference (COR) stations in some states of the federation. Moving objects, missing items and more importantly, crime scenes can be easily identified and vehicular movements monitored by the technology. With the use of the applications, surveyors can accurately track snatched vehicles and kidnapped victims. Nigeria is large; the technology can provide for places not covered adequately by the military and other security agencies because of their numbers, and this will shrink the ungoverned spaces for criminals. There is no doubt that the OSGOF remains a reliable parastatal of generating the information required to advance our cause as a people.
Intelligence gathering is of great importance in combating crimes, and I think, strategic MDAs and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Project need to be in synergy with the OSGOF for the analysis of the information gathered so as to make them appropriately and timely available for policy and response options in a manner that will make security agents more proactive. It is not out of place if a suitable forum for this is created for a regular meet in rendering a more strategic support to the military and the security agencies that have already be doing much as regards their statutory functions.
Michael is the Head of Press and Public Relations, OSGOF

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