Photo: President Buhari, urged to adopt pro-active strategy
The Progressive Alliance Forum, Canada, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to institute a holistic, proactive, and result-oriented strategy aimed at containing anarchy across the land, and securing the life and property of every citizen.
In a letter jointly signed by Professor Murtala J Balogun, former Special Adviser to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and Mr. Ibraheem Haruna, the Forum’s Global Director, the Forum advised President Buhari to ensure that the law enforcement and security agencies which had hitherto operated in silos, that is, as parallel, self-isolating, turf-protecting entities, begin in earnest to share intelligence, to plan joint operations, and to coordinate their attacks on criminals’ hideouts.
The Forum singled out the role of the judiciary, the Nigerian Police, the customs and immigration departments, the Armed Services in mounting a combined assault on anarchy and insecurity across the country.
According to the press release, the Forum further underscored the necessity to combine modern information and communication technology with human intelligence. The human intelligence will come from various sources, among them, the detective and investigation arms of the law enforcement and security agencies; traditional rulers; the shamans, spiritual consultants, and marabouts that are locally notorious for aiding criminals; hunters and trackers; forest guards; and community leaders. To ensure that the anti-anarchy forces pull in the same direction, the Forum advocated the establishment of an omnibus Ministry of Public Security. Besides serving as a focal point for the war on insecurity, the Ministry will, like the US Department of Homeland Security, ensure that the forces of stability work in harmony.
The Forum also recommended that serious consideration be given to the establishment of State Police and Community Police Services, as well as the transfer of the resources needed for the implementation of the devolution policy from the centre to the states.
Turning its attention to kidnapping, the Forum noted that stamping out the evil practice warrants imposing stiff penalties on offenders and outlawing the payment of ransom.
Also, to stop the invasion of farmlands, the Forum counselled balancing the herders’ right to freedom of movement with the farming communities’ property rights along with the right to life and dignity. The Forum lent its voice to the growing demand for the replacement of open grazing with ranching for exports and job creation.
The Forum nonetheless warned that ethnic profiling would exacerbate rather than improve the security challenges facing Nigeria. It therefore advised the print and electronic media to drop references to the ethnic affiliation of criminals, and instead, isolate the criminals by describing them with the appropriate and illustrative adjectives. The kidnappers should, for instance, not be lumped with the law-abiding Fulanis, but should instead be identified as murderous, unruly, killer, felonious, greedy, or bloodthirsty elements.
In summing up, the Forum advised the Government to re-establish the authority of the state over ungoverned spaces. It should restore public trust by securing the life and property of the people, by effectively caging anarchists and law breakers, and by ensuring that access to the benefits of citizenship is anchored on the principles of fairness, justice, and inclusiveness.