- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Friday, 17 September 2010 10:50
- Written by Admin
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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, apparently concerned about the rising wave of kidnappings for ransom, banditry and sporadic violence in some parts of the country, has urged all the security agencies to brace up and face challenges of insecurity as the country prepares for the 2011 general election.
He has also directed the police, State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies to work in harmony to craft effective strategies for containing the growing security challenges, which he said had direct bearing on socio-economic and political development of the nation.
Represented by the Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, at the first Nigeria Internal Security Summit, held in Abuja, on Thursday, President Jonathan said the government would no longer fold its arms and watch the citizens wriggle in pains under the yoke of insecurity imposed by few criminal elements in the society.
He said the summit, put together by the Federal Ministry of Interior to brainstorm on how to address myriad of security challenges confronting the nation, was “apt at this time, especially as we journey towards the general election in 2011.”
Jonathan said: “In the recent past, our nation had been grappling with several security challenges.
These challenges relate to ethnic militia activities, ethno-religious riots, banditry/robbery, vandalism of public utilities, boundary disputes, political violence, cyber crime, et cetera.”
He said the new dimension that had crept into the system included kidnapping and hostage-taking, which started in the Niger Delta in connection with agitation for resource control but had unfortunately spread to other parts of the country.
He expressed disgust at the lack of synergy between the security agencies in tackling the security challenges, when he said: “Unfortunately, the glaring disconnect and lack of synergy as well as claims and counter-claims over superiority among security agencies have diminished the effectiveness of government’s efforts towards combating crime in the society.”
President Jonathan stressed that the use of small arms and other dangerous weapons in the country by these criminal elements must be checked, saying, “our security agencies, therefore, need to share information among themselves, and harmonise strategies to effectively stem the tide of insecurity in the country.”
He vowed to fight corruption in the country to a standstill by strengthening the capacity of the anti-graft agencies, pointing out that “official corruption closely linked with other organised crimes, such as money laundering, illegal oil bunkering, financial terrorism, arms, human and drug trafficking, all pose grave danger to the internal security of the nation”.
The minister of interior, speaking in his capacity as the minister, explained that the summit was part of the fulfillment of mandate of the ministry at guaranteeing security of life and property in the country, especially in a build-up to the 2011 elections.
He said: “We are not unmindful of the need to protect and tighten security along our borders against infiltration by criminal elements with intention to destabilise the polity and thwart the efforts of the government to give Nigerians good governance through the vehicles of free, fair and credible elections.”
Besides, he said the Federal Government had set up bi-national commissions with countries it shared common borders through which various memoranda of understanding had been signed to improve border security by operating joint border patrol.