A Professor of Political Science at the Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Aja Akpuru-Aja has called on the Federal Government not to waste further time in declaring the bandits, who had been unleashing mayhem on some parts of the country as terrorists due to their modus operandi.
Akpuru-Aja who was delivering a lead paper during a Security Summit organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, wondered why it has taken the government this long in labeling a gang, which is responsible for killings of innocent citizens among other criminal activities as terrorists while those who were asking for equity and fairness had long been named terrorists.
The don who argued that the war against insecurity must be prosecuted without bias further queried: “What is the government still waiting for to declare the bandits as terrorists?
“They have been able to unleash terror on different villages and locations in parts of the North leading to loss of lives and property. In fact, recently, they have gotten the capacity to down a flying fighter aircraft. That alone is a good reason to declare them terrorists”
Dwelling on the theme of the summit “Security and the National Question” Professor Akpuru-Aja decried the inability of the nation’s security agencies to unmask the unknown gunmen who have been carrying out criminal attacks on public institutions such as police stations and INEC offices, leading to loss of lives and property across the country.
He argued that a united and cohesive Nigeria is possible even as he blamed the emergence of several secessionist groups in different parts of the country on bad leadership, which had relegated the essence of government, (security and welfare of the citizens) to the background.
“Neglect of human security has led to all the challenges confronting the nation. Our political elites are the triggers of insecurity. This country must do away with “feeding bottle federalism“. There is need to devolve power from the centre to the states.
“This is why I once again recommend the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national dialogue, which I believe proffer solutions to most of the problems confronting us today”
Earlier in a keynote address, Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, represented by his Special Adviser, Technical, Almed Jibrin, accused some political elites and religious leaders of compromise in favour of renegades such as Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, who have been making frantic efforts to destabilize the country.
“The political and traditional elites at the local level are most times not present in their constituencies and that creates vacuum that insurgents, terrorists and bandits fill in the administration of local authorities. What about the failure of our religious and opinion leaders who do not provide counter narratives to the misguided religious zealots”
Magashi also noted with dismay the lack of efficient intelligence system or lack of will to utilize the provided intelligence in carrying out security operations by the military and paramilitary agencies, some of whom he maintained had been compromised by the insurgents in the North East as well as bandits and kidnappers in the North West and North Central.
Contributing to the conversation via zoom, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Sen. Ali Ndume who described the theme of the event as apt, even as he noted that the present narrative of insecurity can be reversed by concerted efforts of Nigerians who he noted had collectively driven the nation to its present state.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the dean, faculty of social sciences, Prof. Uche Nwogwugwu, said they were inspire to organize the event as a way of contributing to on-going efforts towards finding listing solutions to security challenges in the country.
In attendance were the Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Professor Charles Esimone, heads of various security agencies including the Army, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Security, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, traditional rulers and captains of industry some of who were presented with awards of excellence.