Opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives are urging President Bola Tinubu to prioritize the security of lives and property more effectively than the previous administration led by Muhammadu Buhari did over eight years.
During the immediate past administration, Nigeria witnessed a surge in insurgency, kidnapping, and various criminal activities, leading the international community to issue multiple travel advisories, cautioning their citizens to avoid troubled areas in the country.
Since President Tinubu took office, there has been a noticeable increase in kidnapping for ransom, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, prompting widespread calls for the Minister, Nyesom Wike, to enhance safety measures in the territory.
Speaking on Friday, Oluwole Oke, a member of the House and Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, expressed concern that while insecurity is not unique to Nigeria, the situation in the country is becoming increasingly alarming for everyone who wishes the nation well.
Oke, a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party, emphasized in a telephone interview with our correspondent, the need for President Tinubu to address the manpower shortage within the various security agencies.
He said, “There are a lot that this government can do better than the previous administration. We are not the first to experience this kind of situation. It happened in other advanced climes in the past and still happening in some other countries but not as bad as ours.
“You will recall when the service chiefs appeared before the House for sectoral briefings. I did observe that the security situation in which we found ourselves is result of poverty occasioned by neglect of the masses by the ruling class.
“The armed forces, paramilitary institutions and intelligence communities need to massively recruit youths up to 500,000 in bigger states and 100,000 in smaller states.
“They should be camped and trained for three to six months, armed to the teeth with good remuneration package and deploy them to very strategic locations. Those we can’t deploy locally should be exported for peace keeping operations. This is the reason behind my sponsoring a bill on peace keeping operations.
“We also need to invest massively on intelligence gathering and equip all our security agencies with modern day technologies.”
Oke, while noting that his recommendations have huge financial implication, urged the Tinubu-led government not to shy away from its primary responsibility to the Nigerian citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
On his part, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party and member representing Karu/Keffi/Kokona Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State, Gbefwi Jonathan, urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security, noting that “without adequate security, no meaningful development will take place.”
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