Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, has urged security agencies to synergise in order to end insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality.
Aregbesola said this in a speech that was read on his behalf by Joshua Ibiloye, his technical assistant, at a national policy and development summit, on Thursday in Abuja.
The one-day summit had ‘Nigeria’s Security Challenges and the Way Forward’ as its theme.
Quoting the minister, Ibiloye said terrorism and kidnapping, “which were not known in Nigeria in the past”, have now become rampant.
He added that if security agencies continued to operate independently and in isolation, “the war against insurgency and crime would be far from being over”.
“We need to know that fighting asymmetric war is absolutely different from conventional war. The strategies should be different,” Aregbesola was quoted as saying.
“Fight against insurgency and kidnapping is asymmetric warfare where those engaged in them do not respect or comply with international laws of engagement. They kill women, children, and the aged.
“We are all at risk, thus, there is a need for synergy.
“We can’t win in such war unless and until security agencies synergise effectively and improve on intelligence gathering and sharing. We should be proactive than reactive.
“Also, security agencies need to win the trust of the people through advocacy; at times, citizens do not trust security agencies, thus we need to win their trust to make us do better.”
He noted the need to end the proliferation of light weapons across the country so as to minimise or eliminate crimes.
He also said the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, of Libya culminated in the proliferation of light weapons, adding that security agencies should not relent in confiscating such weapons.
He said there was also the need to use technology to man Nigeria’s vast borders because manpower was inadequate to do all that was required at the borders.
He explained that the insurgents and kidnappers had sponsors both internationally and locally, adding that they should be traced and brought to book.
“No security agency has enough manpower; we need massive recruitment into the military and paramilitary agencies to help in tackling security challenges in the country,” he said.
“We must deploy technology to do part of the job like using drones. However, we are trying to strengthen ties with private security guards across the country.”