• Tue. Oct 4th, 2022

    The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), has said the current state of security in the Nation necessitates urgent security architectural improvements.

    The group added that to address the problems of the spat of insecurity demonstrated by armed robbery, baditry, kidnapping, murder, and insurgency, there is also need to highlights and consider a reform that would tackle and end the dreaded act.

    CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa-Rafsanjani, while speaking at a media workshop, said the reforms will create a more professional and accountable security force that will effectively and clearly defend the lives and property of Nigerian residents.

    According to him: “This media workshop is designed to enhance our knowledge on probable areas within the defence and security sector budgetary process and expenditures, for effective investigative journalism. It will improve the capacity of participants to better understand areas of possible corruption risk and to flag same for evidence based civilian oversight in other to minimize corrupt practices and to improve our defence and security architecture”

    In his words: “As patriotic journalists of this great Nation, we urge you to do everything within the law and ethics of your profession to make sure that protection of lives and properties remain a priority for the government, as provided for in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. 

    We must not sit and watch a corrupt few embezzle monies meant for the welfare of security personnel, procurement of arms and ammunition while the challenges of insecurity continue to threaten our very existence”

    According to Auwal Ibrahim “Many people known and unknown to us have been killed, manned, kidnapped, robbed of their loved ones, properties and sources of livelihood. 

    Terrorist attacks and kidnappings for outrageous ransom has become a norm in Nigeria. The question is: who will be the next victim? We must as a matter of urgency begin to question the actions and in-actions of government and to demand accountability for budgetary allocations meant for defence and security”

    “It is time that the quest for reform in our defence and security institutions transcend from mere words to an all inclusive participation in the formulation and effective implementation of policies for the actualisation of the transformation that citizens desire in our defence and security sector. 

    Speaking further, “We must not fail to acknowledge the disciplinary actions taken by the leadership of the defence and security sector against erring officers who would rather undermine than uphold the ethics and values of these institutions, as has been aired more frequently by the media lately. 

    Nevertheless, there is still so much more to be done structurally such as wrong and prolonged deployment of personnel in battle field, lack of transparency and accountability in fund management, procurement and project implementation, personnel recruitment process, personnel welfare, sub standard kits and equipment, among others. 

    “CISLAC and its partners will continue to push for greater accountability and integrity in our defence and security sector because it will require a multi-stakeholder engagement in line with the principles of  democratic and participatory governance, to achieve the level reform we desire”

    “We will not relent in advocating for an accountable defence and security expenditure, classification and declassification of information for public consumption, increased integrity for personnel and an uninterrupted civilian oversight of the sector in line with international best practices”

    Auwal Ibrahim also demanded that the National Assembly conduct a targeted probe into claims of unreported spending on weaponry as well as openness and accountability in the spending on security and defense.

    In order to improve efficiency, openness, and accountability in the defense and security sector, he requested that appropriate parliamentary supervision be provided by the appropriate National Assembly Committees.

    In spite of the consistently increased budgetary allocation and spending since 2015, he claims that the diversion of defense and security funds to private pockets through the procurement process poses a serious threat to the sector and services of defense and security and has left security officers underequipped, poorly paid, and demoralized.

    According to him, efforts by Civil Society organizations to track the nation’s investment in the military, security, and allied agencies continue to be frustrated by the sector’s failures or refusal to make its spending public. As a result, he claims, “Defense personnel and Security operatives are rendered incapacitated from curbing violence, insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping.”

    According to him, corruption is what causes Nigeria’s insecurity, so if the country is to deal with it head-on, it must be eradicated. 

    He also claimed that security agency oversight was inadequate, which is particularly concerning given that the biggest problem with Nigeria’s insecurity crisis is human security.

    Hyacinth Chinweuba

    HYACINTH Chinweuba is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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