Group Calls for Community Participation in Tackling Insecurity

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

A non-governmental organisation, the Salute Nigeria Initiative has decried the growing incidence of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, vandalism, cultism and armed robbery in the country, saying these developments are undermining the nation’s developmental strides.

The group however called for community participation in the task of curtailing the menace.

Speaking at a sensitisation programme in Offa, Kwara State yesterday, the group’s coordinator, Ambassador Chielo Ojirika stated that the current trend needs urgent support of all and sundry by supporting security apparatus in the country to end the menace.

Ojiriika said the general insecurity in the land had continued to drive away investors whose activities could have served as a great boost to the socio-economic growth of the country.

He said: “Today in Nigeria, no one is safe again. The reported cases of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, armed robbery among others have taken the space of our daily routine and this is not good for the country”.

He explained that the group decided to embark on the enlightenment programme on the need for various communities in the country to support security agencies through useful information that can put an end to the menace.

“These enemies of progress are living with us every day and night. The communities must rise up to expose them so as to help the security agencies to get rid of them and this is the reason we are moving across the country to sensitise our various communities to assist the security agencies to tackle these problems”

He said the call for the sack of service chiefs and overhaul of the nation’s security architecture would not address the core issues that are fuelling criminals’ activities.

Earlier, the convener of the programme, Mr. Mashood Shittu, said a fundamental rethink was needed in order to come up with a workable approach to curtailing this menace. One of these approaches, according to him, is community policing, adding that if government synergises with the police the efforts will yield the desire fruits given the closeness of the police to the grassroot.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, in his remark said that strengthening the security institutions and consulting with local authorities and stakeholders to partner with government would go a long way in achieving security and peace.