Former Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), Mr. Ayodele Babalola, has blamed the challenges of insurgency, militancy, ethno-religious conflicts facing the country on lack of a national security policy and central data base.
Babalola who stated this Wednesday in Okada, Edo state, while delivering a public lecture on national security at Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), titled, “Intelligence and Nigeria’s national security; the challenges and prospects,” said that the lack of central data base is a set back for security agencies’ effort at combating insecurity in the land and is dangerous for the safety of the country.
He noted that the role of public policy in national security matters cannot be over emphasized because of the vital role it plays in identifying problems and deciding on what measures to take, to address the problems, assessing if measures are effective or not, as well as monitoring implementation of the measures.
“Lack of any clear document on national security policy has remained one of the major issues confronting Nigeria on how to confront the current domestic and global challenges,” he said.
The former DSS boss who disclosed that effort were been made to develop a national security policy, however regretted that this was not as the same with a national defense policy, because, according to him, “there is an extant national defense policy, only that the security policy is not confirmed concerning Nigeria.”
“They have given the mandate to the National Defense College to bring out a security policy but up till now, there is no coherent paper that one can say is the security policy and that has affected and will continue to affect the direction in checking and securing Nigeria.
“And in respect to the direction to follow, it is the architectural umbrella upon which a nation can process its intelligence direction, I mean its security direction. But effort are been made,” he affirmed.
He however noted that effort made by the government to put in place a dependable data system has proved abortive due to budget restraint and other bureaucratic bottlenecks.
To check insecurity in the country, Babalola said beside the adoption of a national security policy and establishment of a database unit in the office of the NSA, everyone must see himself as security personnel and help bring peace to the country.
According to security expert, “it is time for every Nigerian to come out to assist the government of the day on how we can become security persons in our area, because nobody will come and tell you about your place, we know our society more them any other person that is not domiciled in your area, state or country.”
- Babalola who called for the introduction of community policing to check every movement in the area, lamented that the “the security situation has affected our social cultural development in our different economy issue which has led to imbalance, environment, terrorism, weapon proliferation and has left the country with a poor international perception of who we are.”