A former General Officer Commanding Training and Doctrine Command, Minna, Maj-Gen Ishola Williams, (retd.), and a Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Prof. Etanibi Alemika, on Thursday called for a radical overhaul of Nigeria’s security system in order to match the growing dimensions of criminality in the country.
They spoke at a security conference organised by Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State entitled, ‘Peoples-Centred Security Sector Reform in Nigeria: Architecture, Policy, Doctrine, Organisation, Laws, Budget and Technology’.
In his presentation entitled, ‘Insecurity and the Imperative of Security Sector Reform In Nigeria,’ Alemika decried the incessant wrangling and clashes between security agencies The don, who was the lead presenter, noted that security challenges had assumed frightening dimensions since the return of civilian rule in 1999.
Represented by Dr. Ayodele Olabisi of the Department of Sociology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, he said: “After the return to civil rule in May 1999, violent conflicts between and within ethnic, religious and community groups occurred in different parts of the country. Violent inter-group conflicts were fuelled or compounded by the introduction of Sharia in several states in Northern Nigeria, emergence of armed ethnic and religious militias, agitations for resource control by armed militant groups in the Niger Delta.
“Terrorism by Boko Haram which started in 2009 remains a serious problem even though their activities within and outside the North-East have been significantly curtailed in comparison to 2012-2015. Kidnapping for ransom, which was initially employed by Niger Delta militants has become a widespread industry across the country. “The insecurity problem in the country may be solved by rethinking and restructuring of the country’s security architecture.”
In his paper titled, ‘Thoughts On Safety and Security Sector Architecture and Reform for Nigeria: A Human Security Approach,’ he decried the high level of corruption in the counrry.
Williams, who is also the Executive Director of the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group, lamented that since Nigeria gained independence, the nation had continued to operate the same security architecture inherited from the British former colonial masters.