By Samuel Ohwovoriole
With increasing cases of abductions, kidnappings and killings, a peace advocacy organization, Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative, (GOPRI), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to concentrate only on solving the security problems now.
The group asked the president to be ruthless with perpetrators not minding what they seem to be projecting.
“Addressing the security challenges should be the Government’s topmost priority now, any other thing can follow,” it urged.”
Reacting to the current state of insecurity in the nation, in a statement through its Executive Director and rights activist, Ambassador Melvin Ejeh, GOPRI warned that unless the president’s body language to criminals completely changes to that of intolerance, perpetrators could mistake him for being in support of their activities, thereby heightening their acts, the result of which it feared, could be catastrophic for the country.
According to Amb. Ejeh, the group wants the president and his administration not only to be audacious but also unambiguous in dealing with the security problems of the country with a view to nipping it in the bud before it gets to an irreversible point.
“The body language of the President and indeed the Government should clearly and actionably indicate intolerance for the activities of these bandits and similar criminals. It should be audacious and unambiguous,” he said.
Noting that,”The security situation in the country is really bad and has tendency to escalate to a more fatal dimensions if not tackled seriously and urgently”,it tasked the government to sit up.
The group lamented that, “The security situation has direct impact on other aspects of our nation especially the economy, as it insisted that government must give priority to it.
” It should be given priority in terms of adequate, timely funding and other necessary support as well as strong political will,”it said.
Noting that the president was not getting it right in the security subsector because, according to him, he was not being told the true situation of the developments in the country, Amb Ejeh said:”Principal staff and aides to the President should support him by telling him the whole truth always.”
“There is no need to hide under all these nepotism and selfishness. It is our country and we all have a stake and have to play our parts sincerely for the overall good of the nation and the future of the youths and our children,” he reiterated.
” But majority are not committed, we still have a lot of policemen and women paid regularly from tax payers’ money and our common wealth without rendering commensurate services to the people. So what are most of them doing, hanging around on our major roads and cannot prevent most crimes?”He asked.
He said it’s unimaginable that gunmen are moving freely within the country. And that the Police has to live up to its responsibilities.
“I can’t imagine gunmen moving freely in towns and attacking police stations; carting away weapons and burning the stations. If the police can’t defend their police stations, how can they defend the people. What do the gunmen use that our policemen don’t have? Weapons? I think the DPOs of such stations should be held accountable. Scarce funds will now be used to rebuild such police stations and procure weapons only for the gunmen to return again.
It is unacceptable. We must say the truth.
“The Police have to sit up, train and work assiduously with what is available as governments (federal and state) make effort to provide necessary logistics. Also the hard working and committed policemen should be commended and adequately compensated, while the erring ones should be appropriately sanctioned,” he said.
According to him, “I don’t subscribe to this idea of hyping the capabilities of these bandits and making them look invincible and super heroes . What weapons and logistics do they have that our troops don’t have more? Even most of the weapons and platforms used by Boko Haram terrorists were the ones abandoned by our troops.
“I urge the military commanders and troops to do more. Show more commitment and go beyond the normal call of duty. Yes, there are serious and worrisome deficits in funding, manpower and equipment but we cannot afford the luxury of being overwhelmed and watch these bad guys overrun our country,” he said.
“These bandits do not have this kind of freedom of action in smaller neighboring countries like Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic, etc. The military just have to be more decisive and put these guys under pressure and not just waiting to react to situations.
” I don’t want to believe that the Government puts restrictions on their operations as some people think. It’s a time we all have to sacrifice and be committed to solve this problem.
“We must also apply technology where necessary and available. The non kinetic approach is also good and proven to be effective sometimes. But non kinetic approach can only be effective when we have robust Kinetic lines of operations and capabilities.
He also tasked other security agencies to enhance their synergy and collaboration with the military.
“I’m aware that the intelligence agencies provide information on some of these attacks but the problem has always been the inability to respond promptly and appropriately. They should all continue to do more. It’s not time for inter-agency rivalry. If one fails, all of us have failed and will suffer the consequences,” he charged.” He said.
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