Worried by the deteriorating security challenges in Nigeria, the Federal Government has kicked-off a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement on how to end insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of social vices threatening the nation’s internal security.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, spoke on Tuesday in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital where he flagged the stakeholders’ consultative meeting is expected to be held in all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Interior, Mr Mohammed Manga, in a statement in Abuja.
The Minister called on Nigerians and the good people of Borno State, in particular, to support the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Administration in its efforts at exterminating cancer in the body and vanquish a deadly and cruel insurgency that is making a living of an ordinary Nigerian very dangerous, difficult and miserable.
In his speech titled “The People as the Cornerstone of Security,” Aregbesola said that the summit was called to tap from the wealth of experience of the Kanem Borno Empire that made it to stand secured for 1,200 years, more than the Byzantine Empire or the Holy Roman Empire.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the Cabinet are greatly pained over the hardships Nigerians are going through on account of the security challenges in some parts of the country and are determined to do whatever is necessary to bring an end to the activities of these marauders. Saying “Enough is enough.”
The Minister who said that government has renewed its stand to do whatever is necessary to stamp out insecurity from any part of the country, where it exists; assured that the challenges we face are surmountable.
“Some nations have faced them before and have come out victorious. We are going to do the same and nothing is going to stop us. But to be able to win, we need the support of the people.
“We must understand that the defence and security architectural complex is a pyramid. Sitting on the top is the military, followed by the police, next are the other security agencies and at the base, carrying and supporting the complex, are the people who are the security-agency-at-large,” he said.
Aregbesola said further that in every secure nation, especially the developed ones, security is contingent on the information supplied by the citizens, their cooperation with the security agencies and acting in the best interest of their community, society and the nation.
The Minister who commended the security agencies for their doggedness in the fight against crime and criminality in the country called on them to see the people as important to achieving successes. He said that people are the essence of a nation and not just a territorial space, and thus, constitutes the singular most important basis of all the institutions of state.
“Any security agency operating within a national space that disregards the support of the people is simply doomed in its mission of defence and security. I am of the firm opinion that if the security agencies have the trust and support of these people, the terrorists and those constituting threat to life and property in any part of the country, would not be anonymous.
“They would have been handed over by now. The insurgents and other criminals who are disturbing us are not ghosts but humans, nevertheless they are a tiny minority. They can never withstand a united and determined people who take their security seriously,” he reiterated.
Aregbesola who acknowledged that formidable military might and cutting-edge technology are necessary for the fight against crime and criminality observed that without the support of the people, they may be ineffective.
“The government needs the support of the people in confronting a mobile, flexible and fluid insurgents that hide among the people,” he emphasised.
Also speaking, the Executive Governor of Borno State Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured the Minister that the government and people of Borno State would continue to support the efforts of the Federal Government in its determination to ensuring the restoration of peace and security in the state.
He thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration for liberating a substantial part of the State and the Northeast from the grip of the insurgents, adding that some time ago, 23 of the 27 local government areas of the State were under the firm control of the insurgents but for the concerted efforts of the Federal Government in calling for the military’s intervention, the situation had been reversed.
In his remarks, His Eminence, the Shehu of Borno, Alh Abubakar Ibin Umar Garba, pledged the support of the traditional rulers to the Federal Government in its efforts towards finding lasting peace and security in all parts of the country.
The stakeholders’ engagement was also attended by the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, Ministers of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi, Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, Chairman Senate Committee on Interior and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Ahmed Ja’faru, Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammad Babandede, Controller-General, Federal Fire Service (FFS) Dr Liman Ibrahim, Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Muhammadu Gana Abdullahi, traditional rulers as well as other relevant stakeholders on matters of internal security.
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