A former Minister of External Affairs, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, has declared that Nigeria must go back to the reports of the National Conference (Confab) held in 2014 in order to effectively tackle Nigeria’s security challenges, which have given rise to agitations for state policing.
Gambari opined that it has become important to use many recommendations of the 2014 conference to re-structure policing in the face of growing insecurity across the country and loss of confidence in the current security architecture.
The former minister made this suggestions yesterday in Abuja during a public lecture titled: “‘Development Resolution: Overcoming Global Conflicts and their Local Interactions,” which was organised by Ubuntu Centre for African Peace Building in collaboration with West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) and Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD).
“There is lack of confidence in the current arrangement. The evidence is that people are being killed every day. There were recommendations at the 2014 National Conference. We better go and look at it and see how we can have a structure that will work,” he said
Gambari pointed out that the country’s security system would not be effective unless Nigeria localises its security apparatus and architecture.
According him, attacking violence, extremism and terrorism need the cooperation of local communities. “You need intelligence and to get it you need to become friends and partners of the local community. But you can’t get that kind of cooperation when there are human rights violations and you are afraid of the security,” he said.
He also stressed that as Nigeria strives to achieve peace, it should also put in place infrastructures for economic development. “Even if you have peace, you can’t eat peace. Peace is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for development, because you must have a means of livelihood.
“How do you build employment opportunities? How do build educational system that emphasis entrepreneurship, in order words job providers not job seekers? How do you provide infrastructure for people to invest? How do you encourage local investment?” the former minister queried.
The Director, Centre of Global Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Mr. Marek Hrubec, who delivered the lecture, spoke extensively on the four periods of time since independence in Africa. Hrubec called on Africa to develop its own model of development that should be governed by its own experiences, goals and objectives.
He opined that the model should not just be indigenous to the African culture but should be able to tackle poverty, because according to him, 40 percent of the global poor live in Africa especially sub-Saharan Africa.
He said the Chinese model was attractive, transformed infrastructure and lifted millions out of poverty.
Meanwhile, a participant at the lecture, Mr. Ayi Joseph, stressed that poverty, hunger and ignorance were fuelling conflict and insecurity and stalling development.
Joseph noted that Nigeria has a significant number of poor people who are vulnerable to be used as instrument of conflict and called on the government to develop strategies to reduce poverty and hunger.
Also, the Director General of Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Major General Garba Wahab (rtd), advised that Nigeria should settle its security problems internally.
Wahab, therefore, urged Nigeria not to rely entirely on neighbouring countries which do not have the wherewithal.
He, however, stressed that collaboration among security agencies was also key.