The Oasis Reporters
June 25, 2019
By Mike Odeh James, Kaduna
The convener, Arewa Research and Development Project, ARDP, Dr. Usman Bugaje, said President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration has not done enough to tackle the numerous security challenges facing the country.
He noted that in view of the escalating and protracted security crisis Nigerians are facing especially in the north, people can no longer afford to wait for the government to wade in before taking steps to secure themselves.
Speaking in Kaduna Monday, he explained that a two day Seminar on Insecurity in the country with particular reference to the North is being organized by the Arewa Research and Development, ARDP. He further revealed that the conference which will be held on 1 July, 2 2019 at Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation Conference hall in Kaduna, shall have in attendance, governors from all the 19 states of the North while heads of the security agencies cum service chiefs in the country have been invited as well.
Explaining why the ARDP decided to organize the seminar, he said after speaking to the government for about four years without any positive change, the ARDP decided to come out to the open .
“in the past four years, we have been talking to the government privately on how to tackle the security challenges” and ” we have also been advising it but to no effect.I believed four years is enough for the government to make use of words of advice it got and make changes”.
” A period of four years is enough for any meaningful government to make a change, hence we decided to come out in the open”.
Dr. Bugaje further criticised President Buhari’s handling of the security challenges in the country saying if the ministers especially the defence chief can not tackle the security challenges, then they should be replaced.
“It is only in this government that a minister will stay for four years with no one to evaluate him, yet you retain him”,he added.
Dr. Bugaje also expressed his disappointment with the Chief of Army staff, General Buratai Tukur adding that the general had lost relevance as he has no clue to tackling the security challenges confronting the Army .
He concluded by saying ‘’ Buratai is also an expired service chief and one wonders why President Buhari kept on renewing his tenure”.
PRESS CONFERENCE ON
THE NORTHERN SECURITY CONFERENCE HOLDING JULY 1-2, 2019, IN KADUNA
Gentlemen of the Press:
The security situation in the country is perhaps today the biggest single issue that faces the nation. It is one issue that has over time continued to worsen and it is one issue that is about to ground the whole country. The one decade boko haram insurgency has sapped the human and material resources of the Federal and State governments and has yet remained protracted.
The rural banditry, previously localized has now spread all over the country, particularly the North, taking heavy tolls and displacing an increasing number of citizens. The Kidnapping for ransom phenomenon has become a strong industry defying solutions.
The ethno-religious crises and the farmer-herder conflicts are not abating. The urban violence perpetrated by the increasing army of unemployed youth continue to strike terror in the urban residents and continue to hold urban communities under siege.
Meanwhile the efforts of the security agencies have not come to much. Insurgency continues with heavy casualties on the military formations. Rural banditry has been raging and expelling hundreds daily. Every other security challenge has been on the increase. Assurances by the
security agencies have become increasingly hollow. The military are over stretched, being deployed in over 30 States. Having lost hope, many communities are resorting to self-help.
This means that various communities are securing their own weapons and organizing their defences. This creates a whole new dimension to the security crisis, for it leads to further proliferation of small arms among citizens and irredeemably leads to anarchy. Once anarchy sets in it leads to total breakdown of law and order and as with other Africa Countries it takes a whole generation to recover.
We therefore believe that the efforts of the security agencies need to be boosted by a robust and coordinated community support. These and many such considerations prompted us to start a wide consultation as to the way out of this imbroglio.
Following these consultations we at the ARDP have decided to call for a conference on Northern security to do a thorough analysis of the various security challenges and get the experts to provide solutions particularly the coordination and the regulation of the community responses.
A number of other peace and the Sir Ahmadu Bello development platforms are joining us in this venture, primarily Foundation and the Savanna Centre Diplomacy, Democracy and Development. This conference will be held on July 1 and 2, 2019, at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation conference hall here in Kaduna.
The first day of the conference will be a technical session which will start with briefings and then breakout in two parallel sessions. A break out syndicate session of top experts and academics and an interactive session where field situation reports will be taken and different community responses will be discussed.
In the second day of the conference, the plenary of the conference will receive the reports of the syndicate group and listen to the good will messages of community leaders, religious leaders and political leaders that have been invited. After the conference, a committee will be constituted to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the decisions of the conference.