- Says militancy calls to question the power of the state to protect its citizens
Adeday Akinwale in Abuja
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.Gen Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd), yesterday revealed that the Maitatsine insurgents that ravaged the northern part of the country in the 1980s and led to the death of about 5,000 people metamorphosed into the present Boko Haram.
The NSA also said the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta region has called into question the power of the government to protect its citizens.
Monguno who was represented by the Director of External Services in his office, Mr. Abba Ibrahim, disclosed this in Abuja at the fourth Eminent Persons and Expert Group Meeting (EEGM) 2016, with the theme: ‘Dialogue on Current Security Challenges in Nigeria: Towards an All-Inclusive National Strategy,’ organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Jos.
According to him, “The most significant security challenge to our individual and national peace and security is the menace of the Boko Haram sect. Though it started as a suppressed religious group called Maitastine in the 80s, it clearly metamorphosed to terrorist sect called Boko Haram in 2009.”
He noted: “Its terrorist inclinations manifests in the activities of the group which is now known as a notorious product of an unhealthy mix of religious and political chauvinism and extremism.”
The NSA stated that unfortunately, everyone is mutually enmeshed in a high degree of risk and uncertainty posed by the current security challenges which have festered from the inception of our state and have metamorphosed into hideous conditions in more recent times.
Baring his mind on the incessant herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, Monguno stressed that the unpalatable situation had spurred hot clashes and flared tensions which have now spread to states in the South-west, South-south and parts of the South-east.
On the Niger Delta crisis, the NSA said: “The militancy that has permeated the Niger Delta region has been most negatively impactful on our economy. Not only has it called the image of the state in the protection of citizens, it has made our tabbed oil rich nation of the confidence to court Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).”
Monguno recommended that the current security challenges facing the country urgently presents the need for dynamism and pro-activeness in the formulation of a grand strategy of security within the state with standards that must take cognisance of the carrot and stick approaches.
“Dialogue presents the state with the opportunity to negotiate with and rehabilitate suspects who could be potentially productive resources to the state. Also, onus lies with the security agencies to wield the big stick where necessary, that is, to meet violence with more force to subdue any person or group whose actions deliberately undermine our security in order to maintain its paramount in ligation to protect lines and property.
“To ensure these however, the question of capacity of our developmental and security institutions have to be addressed so that emanating security strategies can work beyond papers,” Monguno added.
Earlier, the Director General of NIPPS, Mr. Jonathan Juma, said the conference was called to dialogue on the issue of various security challenges facing the country, and to address them.
He said at the end of the conference, actionable recommendations that would address the issue of security challenges would be submitted to the government.
Also, the Chairman, National Advisory Committee, Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), Odein Ajumogobia, said in this technological age, technology was not a luxury but a necessity in order to address the issue of security properly.
He explained that technology ensures real time spring of information and enables efficient collaboration between different arms of government.