Internal Security: Stick to Your Constitutional Role, IG Tells Military

 Irabor seeks review of strategies, new approaches to contain security challenges

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

After a long and hard look at the involvement of the military in internal security operations across the country, the Inspector-General of Police(IG),Usman Alkali Baba, has called for a quick end to the military’s stretch beyond its constitutional role.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, recently stated that the military was involved in internal security operations in 34 out of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

However, speaking at a meeting with the defence chiefs in Abuja, the IG said the military’s role, which also includes providing aid in support of civil authority, was overstretched as it was conducting operations in almost all the states of the federation.

He said the issue of maintaining law and order remained the exclusive preserve of the police.

“The issue of maintenance of law and order, the issue of enforcing law and order, the issue of making sure that people go about their lawful businesses is certainly the work of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.

“We are very much appreciative of the roles you have been playing in coming to the aid of the civil authority  to the extent  that you have been overstretched. You are always everywhere in this country performing both the military and civil duties,” he said.

“We really hope that there will be a time when we have the military really go back to its statutory responsibilities and ensure that other agencies that are in charge of safety and security of the nation also perform their duties without stretching the military.

“It is what we have as the last resort, we shouldn’t be bringing it out at the slightest moment of provocation or threat or violence. Military should come out as the last resort always,” he said.

To enable the military perform its statutory role, the IG said the police and special security forces of other security agencies should  increase their  tempo of performance.

“I think there are issues, where maybe, the police mobile force, and other agencies that have also strike forces and so on, could be visibly around the communities and societies while we maintain our armed forces in serious business in the air, land and water,” he said.

Speaking earlier, General Irabor sought continuous review of strategies in order to overcome insecurity in the country.

He said threats and security challenges across the globe remained dynamic and therefore required dynamic responses to contain them.

The CDS said the time had come for the security agencies to look at new approaches towards improving their efficiency in handling security threats.

“Threats all over the world remain very dynamic and in our space, Nigeria, there are transformation of these threats in various dimensions.

“So, what it requires is for us to continuously review the mechanics of addressing them. Given that these challenges and threats are internal, the police certainly needs to be at the forefront.

“We believe the time has come for us to begin to look at new avenues to be able to improve on our efficiency, the level of our efficiency in handling these issues,” he said.

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