GOPRI tasks Buhari to concentrate on addressing security challenges 

President Muhammadu Buhari

A peace advocacy organization group has called on  President Muhammadu Buhari to concentrate on addressing the worsening security challenges in the country.

The group, Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative, GOPRI  on Sunday noted that the call has become necessary following the increasing cases of abductions and kidnappings by criminal bandits across the country.

In a statement signed by its Executive Director and rights activist, Amb. Melvin Ejeh,  the group asked the president to be ruthless with perpetrators not minding what they seem to be projecting.

They particularly charged the president to clearly and actionably indicate intolerance for the activities of bandits and perpetrators of similar criminal activities in the country. 

Ejeh warned that unless the president’s body language to criminals completely changes to that of intolerance, perpetrators could mistake him for being in support of their activities, thereby heightening their acts, the result of which is feared could be catastrophic for the country.

The organization, according to Amb. Ejeh, wants the president and his administration not only to be audacious but also unambiguous in dealing with the security problems of the country with a view to nipping it in the bud before it gets to an irreversible point.

Expressing its regret that insecurity in the country was getting to the point where citizens can no longer sleep with their eyes closed, the organization insisted that “a lot more can be done both at the government and security agencies’ level.

“The body language of the President and indeed the Government should clearly and actionably indicate intolerance for the activities of these bandits and similar criminals. It should be audacious and unambiguous.

“The security situation in the country is really bad and has the tendency to escalate to a more fatal dimension if not tackled seriously and urgently”, it tasked the government to sit up.

“Addressing the security challenges should be the Government’s topmost priority now, any other thing can follow,” it urged.

GOPRI, while noting that, “The security situation has a direct impact on other aspects of our nation especially the economy, insisted that government must give priority to it.

” It should be given priority in terms of adequate, timely funding and other necessary support as well as strong political will,” it said.

“The President should hold the state governments, Police, security agencies, and military accountable where there are obvious lapses and negligence,” the group urged the president.

Noting that the president was not getting it right in the security subsector because, according to him, he was not being told the true situation of the  developments in the country, Amb Ejeh said: “Principal staff and aides to the President should support him by telling him the whole truth always.”

“There is no need to hide under all this nepotism and selfishness. It is our country and we all have a stake and have to play our parts sincerely for the overall good of the nation and the future of the youths and our children,” he reiterated. 

Also advising security agencies on the way forward, the rights activist while noting that the police needed adequate funding to enable it to confront insecurity headlong, however, observed that “most of them  have not shown enough commitment to justify previous investments and support given to them by the Government ( including state governments) and private individuals ( like Dangote and others).”

” It’s either they are deliberately trying to sabotage the efforts of the IGP or most of them are just not committed,” he said, adding: “I admit that we have some very fine and committed police officers who are doing very well despite the shortfalls (like DCP Abba Kyary, DCP Kolo and others).”

” But the majority are not committed, we still have a lot of policemen and women paid regularly from tax payers’ money and our commonwealth without rendering commensurate services to the people. So what are most of them doing, hanging around on our major roads and cannot prevent most crimes?”He asked.

“I can’t imagine gunmen moving freely in towns and attacking police stations; carting away weapons and burning the stations. If the police can’t defend their police stations, how can they defend the people? What do the gunmen use that our policemen don’t have? Weapons? I think the DPOs of such stations should be held accountable. Scare funds will now be used to rebuild such police stations and procure weapons only for the gunmen to return again. It is unacceptable. We must say the truth.

“The Police have to sit up, train, and work assiduously with what is available as governments ( federal and state) make effort to provide necessary logistics. Also the hard-working and committed policemen should be commended and adequately compensated, while the erring ones should be appropriately sanctioned,” he said.

Commenting on the military’s efforts in tackling insecurity, Ejeh, while admitting that “they have made visible efforts and are still doing so”, however, said, “they can still do a lot more.”

“I don’t subscribe to this idea of hyping the capabilities of these bandits and making them look invincible and superheroes. What weapons and logistics do they have that our troops don’t have more? Even most of the weapons and platforms used by Boko Haram terrorists were the ones abandoned by our troops. 

“I urge the military commanders and troops to do more. Show more commitment and go beyond the normal call of duty. Yes, there are serious and worrisome deficits in funding, manpower, and equipment but we cannot afford the luxury of being overwhelmed and watch these bad guys overrun our country,” he said.

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