Ekhomu urges government to curb violent activities
Taking at the security situation in the country, security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration performed above average in the sector last year. He said the military was able to curb the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and reduced terrorism deaths in the country, thereby boosting Nigeria’s rating in the recently released Global Terrorism Index.
He, however, stated that kidnappings, farmers/herdsmen clashes, ritual murders, cult violence and ethno-religious violence ticked up in the year.This year, he said the government has to change the security architecture to meet the extant threats, saying reducing the threat of terrorism in the northeast requires new thinking and innovative approaches.
According to him, “Rather than playing the role of law enforcement officers, Nigeria’s intelligence community should focus on the less-glamorous and less visible role of sniffing out bomb plots and nipping them in the bud. The intelligence agencies need to be refocused to keep Nigerians safe.
“The use of military patrols and overhead platforms has proven partially effective. These security assets are better suited to deal with insurgency, rebellion and cattle rustling.
“The current security challenges in the northeast require human intelligence and technical means, which cannot happen by accident, but must be strategically arranged in a teleological manner.
“The threat-scape for this year will be quite challenging. Last year, the Niger Delta militancy was tame, but is projected to resurface this year. Boko Haram might intensify guerilla attacks, as current protective measures have not been effective against their tactics, with their continued attack on vehicular convoys, killing and maiming people, abducting women and stealing foodstuffs.”
On the recurring farmer/herdsmen clashes, he said the federal government needs a strategy to deal with the threat to public peace, as silence is not golden.
“Cultism has reared its ugly head early this year in Rivers State, the Police needs to up its game in preventing further cult attacks.
“Incessant ethno-religious violence in Kaduna, Taraba and Plateau states need to be addressed with diplomacy and aggressive peace-building efforts, especially as the onset of politicking would result in the resumption of political violence, including assassination of political actors.”
Ekhomu added: “The Special Anti-Election Violence Investigation (SAEVI) Unit, which I called for in 2015, should be prepped now ahead of this threat, so that the politics of Nigeria should not be blood politics.”
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