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The Institute of Security Nigeria, has called on the academic community and security professionals to work together, by re-examining and re-evaluating the security threats and risks facing the nation’s security architecture.
The President of the institute, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said this at its 15th international security conference 2023 in Lagos, with the theme ‘National Security Environment and Challenges; Enhancing Security Services for Sustainable Development’.
He said such collaboration would help in examining threats to the environment and consequently determine the level of challenges and solutions.
According to him, security professionals and practitioners provide security and protection services with the aid of their God-given expertise and skills which remained the major tools.
“It is worrisome though that we still face security challenges as professionals, where a few among us have by their misconduct, brought distain and disrespect to the profession,” he said.
Ogundipe, the immediate-past vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, noted that such development remained a grave concern to the security professionals and the country.
He said it is proper to hold the view that those instances of professional misconduct do not represent all the security professionals and experts in the nation.
“They are not on banners, sign posts and thus, cannot be a basis for the characterisation of security profession in Nigeria. We therefore urge Nigerians to repose confidence in our security professionals, hold them to account and report cases of misconduct.
“We must teach the next generation to act professionally and play a central role in setting the parameters for them that will have the formidable task if safeguarding and securing the nation in the new and challenging context in which we now live,” Ogundipe stated.
According to him, the country is at the verge of conducting another general election, hence it is the responsibility of the security professionals to guarantee the security of lives and properties in the country.
Ogundipe stressed the need for citizens to also do all that was legitimate within their abilities and be motivated by the desire to find solutions to the many security challenges facing the country.
“All hands must be on deck and all arms of government have to do all that is possible to contribute ideas and actions that will birth the solutions needed to secure lives and properties of Nigerians as envisaged in section 14 (2)(b) of the 1999 constitution.
“It states that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary welfare of government ‘.
“I therefore believe that the professional actions will fully resolve this complex national security issues and frizzle all forms of corruption facing our country,” Ogundipe stated.
In his remarks, the Deputy President, Mr. Adebayo Akinade, noted that the conference represented a milestone in the institute’s effort to create awareness among members of the public and the law enforcement agencies.
He said one of the objectives of the institute is to promote and develop security science, technology and practice in all its ramifications.
He added that it also conducts research, collects and disseminates information on security subjects among others.
The deputy president added that there was the need to search for the remote and immediate causes of security challenges, security architecture and other breakdown in the social fabrics of the society.
“There is the need to reflect on the policies which can be put in place to correct these anomalies and restore the lost order in our communities and societies.
“It is only when this order is restored that progress can be made to improve the decayed social standard and in the security trends in the nation.
The papers to be discussed in the conference will highlight some of these problems with the possibility of finding solutions to them.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prince Olu Bajowa, said that the country’s nascent democratic experiment was still occuring with tremendous challenges.
According to him, the country can not remain impervious to the overriding task of democratic consolidations, which must be anchored on the rule and supremacy of the law.
“We have obligation to the nation to mentor the younger members of the security profession. The duty is deliberate and sincere mentorship, which is the only way the ideal security practitioners will progressively place the next generation in the right track
“We also owe ourselves the duty to preserve the security space for the next generation of security professionals and for these reasons, we must shun all forms of unprofessional and unethical practices that may cast the security professionals in bad light and undermine our place in the society,” he said.
In his goodpwill message the AIG Hassan Bala (Rtd), said that the conference must strive to lay a foundation of qualitative discussion arising from a rich blend of ideas and perspectives.
“It is worrisome to note that we are in a country whose security agencies cannot effectively protect its citizens from rampaging marauders, kidnappers, terrorists, bandits and organized killers as experienced in recent times.
“The security apparatus has to be reformed and state policing formalized. There should be an effective strategy.
“This conference should seek to ensure that its recommendations to the federal government cover all activities and programmes which could be implemented and effectively coordinated for the attainment of national security.
“Government should be advised to ensure policy continuity, existence of appropriate institutional framework and sustenance of all the programmes on eradication of bipolar, poverty and insecurity in the country.
“There is need to stir our hopes, douse our fears and encourage ourselves to build a strong nation. Our unity should be firm with strong and unshakable determination to build a united nation and improve the standard of living in Nigeria,” he said.
Group Captain John Ojikutu, a security expert also urged the conference not to fail to recognise and identify the disparities affecting both the low and the high in the country, which, over the years, has contributed to the insecurity, which has put citizens into penury more than it had put perpetrators into correctional homes.
The high point of the event was the award of distinguished fellowship to eight persons, while 26 professionals were awarded professional fellowship.