A former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, has attributed the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria to lack of cohesion and synergy among the leadership of security agencies in the country.
Luke, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, representing Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom federal constituency, said the agencies charged with the security of the nation “lack well-coordinated leadership command to work concertedly to achieve the common goal of securing the country”.
At an interactive session with journalists in Uyo on Thursday, April 29, the federal lawmaker regretted the lack of synergy among the police, the military, the Department of State Security Service with the Office of the National Security Adviser.
He stressed that there is no way the security apparatus and institutions would be able to tackle banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality if they do not work in unison.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, however urged the federal government to invest in intelligence gathering, adding that intelligence reports should be shared among security organizations.
According to him:
”when former President Goodluck Jonathan tackled the insecurity certain sections of the country cried out and was accused of killing people extra-judicially. We did not know that we will get to where we are today.
”One thing is clear, there is lack of leadership. We don’t have a coordinating leadership to lead us to where we have to get to. Everybody seems to be operating in silos.
”The military is operating in silo, the police is operating in silo. It is sad that at a point in this country, the security chiefs were operating without the national security adviser and so there is a clear lack of leadership there’.
Luke also kicked against the plan to recruit repentant terrorists into the police and military and expressed worry over the recent report that the number of arms and ammunition in the hands of non-state actors was three times more than the ones in the hands of state actors.
He proposed that there should be more transparency and accountability by governors on the management of security votes given to state governors.
”On the issue of governors and security vote, let me start from this perspective. I am an advocate of state police. I have stated together with my colleagues on the floor of the House to make alterations in the Constitution to accommodate state police.
”Again what can the governors do other than give vehicular and logistical support. Anytime there is a crisis in the states the security operatives sent to those places are paid special allowances and those special allowances are paid by the governors and this comes from the security vote.
”There are governors that have utilized their security vote judiciously. You cannot as a state governor procure arms. Going forward civil society must be made members of the State Security Council so that they will have first hand information on the security architecture of the state.
“With that it is easy for the citizens to understand the workings of the security architecture and the expenditure of security vote” he said.