Poor intelligence gathering, sharing and lag in taking decisive actions when need be, have been identified as the reasons crime and criminality still thrive in Nigeria.
This was the position of the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Security Watch Africa, Patrick Agbambu.
Agbambu who was speaking while presenting a paper at the 1st Ajegunle Security Summit, in Lagos, said security operatives are not proactive but reactive, which has given criminal the upper hand.
In the paper titled “ Safeguarding your Environment and Business ”, Agbambu, said that there was need for a house to house data collection to know who lives where, their state of origin, villages, as this he said will make it easy to track criminals.
Stating that Nigeria is in a state of insecurity considering crimes like cultism, armed robbery kidnapping, framers/herders clashes and others crimes that are ravaging the six geopolitical zones, he noted that the time to act and rescue the nation from the jaws of insecurity is now.
“ Nigeria has exceptional men and women in the Nigeria Police Force (the lead agency in internal security), the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). But intelligence gathering, sharing these intelligences with relevant security agency and taking timely and decisive actions on this intelligence is non-existence. This is where we have all failed and given criminals upper hands because we only chase them after they had raked havoc. We are not proactive but reactive
“ There are cries of insecurity in all parts of the country. Terrorism and Insurgency in the North East; Banditry and large scale Kidnapping for ransom in the North West; Kidnapping, Farmers/Herders clashes and Communal fighting in the North Central; Kidnapping, Farmers/Herders clashes, Communal fighting and Cultism in South West.
“ Commercial Kidnapping, insurgency/Secessionist Agitation with attacks on Security infrastructures and operatives, Communal fighting; Farmers/Herders clashes and Cultism in the South East and for South South, it is the same Commercial Kidnapping, Insurgency cum Secessionist Agitation with attacks on Security infrastructures and operatives, Communal fighting; Farmers/Herders clashes and Cultism.
“ As you can see, the current situation in Nigeria is very disturbing and perfectly fit into the definition of State of Insecurity. Insecurity is a state of fear, threat to life, uncertainty and anxiety. And all these currently exist in the country.
“ Recently, we carried out a Security Survey on Crime Trend, Spread and Pattern in some States in Nigeria, Lagos State inclusive. Sadly, our AJ City reported a high rate of the above crime in Lagos State. One other disturbing finding, was the high number of young people in Ajegunle getting involved in crimes, particularly, cultism, gang wars for territory control, house to house robberies, street corner and bus-stop robberies and serious drugs abuse. With all these happening, there is no way to guarantee peaceful environment. ”
Speaking further at the security summit which held at the multipurpose Hall of the Nigerian Army, Signal Barracks, Mile 2 in Lagos, the security expert added: “ First step to ending insecurity is what we are doing here today. To be followed with aggressive anti-crime campaigns from street to street.
“ Fallout from this summit should be sectoral security committees to be coordinated and supervised by a central security committee. The committees to work closely with statutory security agencies in their locality. House to House data collection of residents and this data must include and limited to occupation, village of origin and next-of-kin. ”
The Commander of the Nigerian Army Signal Corps, Col. TT Lanpupu also called for synergy amongst security agencies, saying “ Everyone is important in the security architecture of the state. ”
He further applauded the organisers of the programme for such patriotic move, urging young persons to abstain from crime.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Hon. Fatai Ayoola, lamented the poor synergy amongst security agencies in the country.
Ayoola noted that if security must be restored in Nigeria, security agencies must collaborate, share intelligence and government must also invest in the right equipment and technology to rattle crime.
The Chairman said ” Nigeria is in a sorry state as criminals have taken over ungoverned spaces. In dealing with this problem of insecurity, we need more equipment, because what the criminals are holding is more sophisticated than what our security agents are holding. There is also no synergy between security agencies, the mode of command of operation should be fast.
“ No proactive intelligence security reports any more, we wait and react to events that happen. We ought to know that this event will happen, that is security. We also need to start using technology to resolve crime and criminality. We need security cameras. ”
Drawing attention to the EndSARS protest that led to the burning of the LGA secretariat, Ayoola said technology aided in the arrest of the suspects who perpetrated the crime as they are now in jail.
He admonished government officials to come up with youth friendly policies that will help harness their potentials in making Nigeria great again.
The convener of the programme, Ambassador Moses Ebahor, said the summit was a fallout of the EndSARS protest.
He stated that seeing Ajegunle has all tribes and States in Nigeria represented there, that was why they thought of starting off the summit there and would as time goes in extend it to other LGA’s and states.
Ebahor said the summit will hold quarterly and will bring security agencies and the youths together and ultimately fashion strategies to end crime.
Security Watch Africa reports that operatives of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, OPC, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, were amongst the attendees.