Ahead of the 2019 general election, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) have presented plans to combat security challenges in the country if they triumph at the polls.
Representatives of the political parties narrated their strategies at a debate tagged the Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS), with the theme on security, organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu during the debate noted that the biggest security challenge in Nigeria was the issue of number versus the population.
According to him, “The basic issue of security specifically the police is the issue of number versus the population of this country. It’s about the kind of training and salaries they earn, just recently the government increased the salaries of the police. We can only do better. You have to face the fact that we have a government that manages resources better, the ongoing recruitment is going to be continuous.”
“You can’t tackle security without being properly equipped, your armed forces must be properly equipped. We are able to procure the necessary equipment that we need because of the credibility of this government. There is no country in the world where we don’t have issues that touch on security. This government is responsive. If the past government had looked for ways of tackling this issue, we will not be where we are today. They didn’t have such policies and the implementation was not good enough.”
He added that policemen have been treated so badly over the years, under paid, badly equipped and that it will be unfair to castigate the police when we know the kind of corruption perpetrated by the past government that crippled every agency, just the police.
Representative of the PDP, Mr. Osita Chidoka, stated the biggest security challenge facing Nigeria was the absence of identity of persons and property.
He said, “The fact that people can go about in Nigeria and do anything without consequences is what is fueling criminality in Nigeria. The fact that there are no names of Boko Haram people arrested or kidnappers arrested, the security agencies are not able to put up a name and show us the history of the individual. That history must follow every Nigerian for us to be able to have a secured nation. We must go back to the fundamentals of security, which is that there are consequences for bad behavior.”
He lamented that the prison system in Nigeria was archaic, adding that people who commit an offense roam free without proper judgment.
“What is happening today is that people commit offense, go to court, prison, come out and alter their names and still roam the society as people who have never committed any offense. Whenever you see us invest money in security in terms of police and we don’t invest money in court to quicken the access to justice, what you find is cases going to courts and no judgment coming.”
The Presidential Candidate of ANRP, Tope Fasua in his speech said Nigeria’s biggest security challenge was the growing inequality and poverty.
In his words, “the Nigerian society is broken, the economy is broken, and this is not as a result of the recent governance only but the perennial issue over several decades. Everything rises and falls on security. A lot of security problems we have in Nigeria, rise and fall on intelligence. We should not look at security only in terms of terrorism, there’s also insecurity locally and internally by way of things like kidnapping, arm robberies and all sorts of crimes going on in our society.”
“Politicians are the ones that failed the country not the policemen, Nigeria is the most unequal country on earth. As long as we keep this system and structure of inequality and poverty the country will not be safe and that’s why we are saying that the economy question need to be dealt with we need to understand our capabilities and know why we went down the hill,” said Fasua