The Progressive Alliance Forum (PAF), Canada, has urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that law enforcement and security agencies share intelligence to plan joint operations to coordinate their attacks on criminals’ hideouts.
The group also advised the president to institute “a holistic, proactive, and result-oriented strategy aimed at containing anarchy across the land, and securing the life and property of every citizen.”
In a letter jointly signed by former Special Adviser to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Murtala J Balogun, and the Forum’s Global Director, Ibraheem Haruna on Saturday, the Forum advised President Buhari to single out the role of the judiciary, the Nigerian Police, the customs and immigration departments, the Armed Services in mounting a combined assault on anarchy and insecurity across the country.
The Forum also advised the president to combine modern information and communication technology with human intelligence.
“The human intelligence will come from various sources, among them, the detective and investigation arms of the law enforcement and security agencies; traditional rulers; the shamans, spiritual consultants, and marabouts that are locally notorious for aiding criminals; hunters and trackers; forest guards; and community leaders,” the letter reads in part.
The Forum also advocated for establishing an ‘omnibus Ministry of Public Security to ensure that the anti-anarchy forces pull in the same direction.
“Besides serving as a focal point for the war on insecurity, the Ministry will, like the US Department of Homeland Security, ensure that the forces of stability work in harmony,” it said.
The Forum also recommended that serious consideration be given to the establishment of State Police and Community Police Services, “as well as the transfer of the resources needed for the implementation of the devolution policy from the centre to the states.”
Speaking on the country’s incessant kidnappings, the forum said stamping out the evil practice warrants imposing stiff penalties on offenders and outlawing ransom payment.
“To stop the invasion of farmlands, the Forum counselled balancing the herders’ right to freedom of movement with the farming communities’ property rights along with the right to life and dignity,” the letter reads.
It also lent its voice to the growing debate to replace open grazing with ranching for exports and job creation.
The Forum further advised the media to drop references to the ethnic affiliation of criminals, “and instead, isolate the criminals by describing them with the appropriate and illustrative adjectives.”
“The kidnappers should, for instance, not be lumped with the law-abiding Fulanis, but should instead be identified as murderous, unruly, killer, felonious, greedy, or bloodthirsty elements,” it said.
The group also advised the government to re-establish the authority of the state over ungoverned spaces.
“It should restore public trust by securing the life and property of the people, by effectively caging anarchists and law breakers, and by ensuring that access to the benefits of citizenship is anchored on the principles of fairness, justice, and inclusiveness,” the letter reads.
Kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria has been on the increase of late in several states in Nigeria.
In many parts of the country, kidnapping has become a business, especially for otherwise unemployed youth.
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