By Blessing Olaifa, Abuja
As part of the strategies aimed at stemming the tide of widespread insecurity in the country, the National Security Adviser, the service chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies will in the weeks ahead engage stakeholders at the geo-political zones.
The engagement of stakeholders, including governors, traditional rulers, the legislature and the judiciary, the Presidency said on Saturday, will commence on Monday.
Only on Saturday, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) issued a statement, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to be awake to his responsibilities before the country slides into anarchy.
The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari said the aforementioned individuals and groups had become necessary in order to bring an end to the crimes that are being perpetrated against hapless Nigerians.
According to ONSA, the journey to the multi-dimensional strategy to bring about lasting peace in the country will kick off in Kaduna on Monday.
A statement issued by ONSA on Saturday said the measure was in furtherance of Federal Government’s commitment to addressing the multiple security threats that are facing Nigeria.
It added that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) had convened a meeting of the General Security Appraisal Committee (GSAC) on Thursday and made strategic resolutions in respect of the security situation in the country.
The meeting, which was attended by the service chiefs, heads of law enforcement as well as security and intelligence agencies, according to ONSA, discussed the threats of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, armed robbery and the consequences of these threats on lives and property, the statement noted.
The statement reads: “As part of renewed commitment to making Nigeria safe and secure, the meeting resolved to strengthen inter-agency coordination, stakeholders’ engagement and consultation in order to find lasting solution to the multiple security threats.
“Working with the service chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies, the National Security Adviser is coordinating a Whole-of-Government and Whole-of-Society approach that cuts across the legislature, judiciary, ministries and departments, states and local governments and the civil society to ensure that every stakeholder plays a role in securing our towns and villages.
“The NSA believes that addressing these threats call for the deployment of all national assets, including the cooperation of all Nigerians.
“Consequently, the National Security Adviser will be leading a delegation of heads of federal law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to the geo-political zones to hold town hall meetings with state governors, traditional and religious leaders, membersof the legislature, non-governmental, youth and women organisations.
“The meetings are expected to provide direct assessment of the security situation, generate local feedback and recommendations, encourage geo-political synchronisation of effort among states and to also create a pathway to lasting peace and security.
“The first of the town hall meetings is scheduled to hold in Kaduna State on Monday, 15 February 2021 with all the seven governors of the Northwestern states.”
The statement said the Federal Government was deeply concerned about the current spate of criminal activities and was taking major steps to strengthen the capacity of security agencies, while upgrading the security architecture and implementing a multi-pronged strategy that involves political, humanitarian, economic and security measures.
“The Federal Government is equally committed to working with the states and community leaders to strengthen peace, security and development in all parts of the country,” it added.
In a statement issued by the national spokesman of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan yesterday, the main opposition party noted that national peace had come under severe threat under President Buhari’s leadership.
Sectional disagreements, the PDP observed, were degenerating into violent conflicts with grave consequences the nation’s peace.
The situation, according to the main opposition party, was being compounded by Buhari-led All Progressives Congress’ divisive and parochial approach to governance.
“The party laments the escalated sectional conflicts in various parts of the country; the bloody ethnic clashes currently raging in Ibadan, Oyo State in addition to similar clashes recorded in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano as well as other states of the federation,” the statement said.
It added: “The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to note that the once cohesive and economically thriving nation handed over to him in 2015 is fast collapsing in his hands due to his failure to effectively manage the economy, inability to administer the complex political and sectional nuances of the nation as well as manifest lack of capacity to confront terrorists, bandits and kidnappers ravaging our country.
“Our party grieves that under the anti-democratic and anti-people proclivities of the Buhari-led APC administration, our once thriving country has come under grave tension to the extent that citizens have become nervous, agitated, lost faith in the polity, with individuals, communities, states and geo-political zones resorting to self-determination as a way of survival.”
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