Against the backdrop of rising murders and kidnappings in the country, the Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) has implored President Muhammadu Buhari to be ruthless with bandits in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Melvin Ejeh, in a statement, tasked President Buhari to squarely concentrate on solving security problems, adding that was tarnishing the image of the country and his administration.
‘The body language of the President and indeed the Government should clearly indicate intolerance for the activities of these bandits and similar criminals. It should be audacious and unambiguous.
‘The security situation in the country is really bad and has tendency to escalate to a more fatal dimensions if not tackled seriously and urgently.
‘Addressing the security challenges should be the Government’s topmost priority now, any other thing can follow.
‘The security situation has direct impact on other aspects of our nation especially the economy, insisted that government must give priority to it.
‘It should be given priority in terms of adequate, timely funding and other necessary support as well as strong political will.
‘The President should hold the state governments, Police, security agencies and military accountable where there are obvious lapses and negligence.
‘There is no need to hide under all these nepotism and selfishness. It is our country and we all have a stake and have to play our parts sincerely for the overall good of the nation and the future of the youths and our children.
‘It’s either they are deliberately trying to sabotage the efforts of the IGP or most of them are just not committed. I admit that we have some very fine and committed police officers who are doing very well despite the shortfalls (like DCP Abba Kyari DCP Kolo and others).
‘But majority are not committed, we still have a lot of policemen and women paid regularly from tax payers’ money and our common wealth without rendering commensurate services to the people. So what are most of them doing, hanging around on our major roads and cannot prevent most crimes?
‘I can’t imagine gunmen moving freely in towns and attacking police stations; carting away weapons and burning the stations.
‘If the police can’t defend their police stations, how can they defend the people. What do the gunmen use that our policemen don’t have? Weapons? I think the DPOs of such stations should be held accountable.
“Scare funds will now be used to rebuild such police stations and procure weapons only for the gunmen to return again. It is unacceptable. We must say the truth.
‘The police have to sit up, train and work assiduously with what is available as governments ( federal and state) make effort to provide necessary logistics. Also the hard working and committed policemen should be commended and adequately compensated, while the erring ones should be appropriately sanctioned,’ he said.
Commenting on the military efforts in tackling insecurity, he said: ‘I don’t subscribe to this idea of hyping the capabilities of these bandits and making them look invincible and super heroes. What weapons and logistics do they have that our troops don’t have more? Even most of the weapons and platforms used by Boko Haram terrorists were the ones abandoned by our troops.
‘I urge the military commanders and troops to do more. Show more commitment and go beyond the normal call of duty. Yes, there are serious and worrisome deficits in funding, manpower and equipment but we cannot afford the luxury of being overwhelmed and watch these bad guys overrun our country.
‘The military can continue to do more with available weapons and platforms/logistics while the government makes effort to provide the necessary funds and support.
‘These bandits do not have this kind of freedom of action in smaller neighboring countries like Ghana, Togo and Benin, etc. The military just have to be more decisive and put these guys under pressure and not just waiting to react to situations.
‘I don’t want to believe that the Government puts restrictions on their operations as some people think. It’s a time we all have to sacrifice and be committed to solve this problem.
‘We must also apply technology where necessary and available. The non kinetic approach is also good and proven to be effective sometimes. But non kinetic approach can only be effective when we have robust Kinetic lines of operations and capabilities.’