The immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has blamed the excessive overlapping and unhealthy inter-rivalry among security agencies for their inability to combat crimes and criminality in the country.
Arase made the assertion while delivering a lecture on the topic: “Strategic Partnership for National Security: Extending the Frontiers of Private Sector Participation Model,” at Chief Gabriel Igbinedion’s 84th birthday celebration, held at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
Arase said rather than one security agency trying to outsmart the others, they can only be effective in tackling the menace of crimes and criminality in the country if the agencies see themselves as one fighting a common course by depending on one another for information that can lead to the nipping of crimes in its bud, thereby providing an effective service delivery to Nigerians.
“Government have lived up to its expectation at establishment of security and law enforcement agencies–Nigeria Police Force, Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Airforce), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Intelligence Agencies (Directorate of State Service, National Intelligence Agency and Defence Intelligence), Border Policing Agencies (Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service), Federal Road Safety Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Prisons Services (as a penal and correctional service), etc. Overlapping functions and rivalry amongst security agencies remain worrisome challenges.
“The question also remains how proactive are these agencies? How well equipped and well-funded? There is need for more resources from all the partners,” Arase said.
The former IGP further noted that crimes can only be reduced in the country when private individuals, civil society organisations collaborate with the government through job creations, adding that government alone cannot do it.
He added that while the Federal Government can be commended for enacting laws in the country, the same cannot be said of its interpretations and enforcement.
“Multifarious actors are involved in security. They include public sector, private sector and civil society. Organisations, individuals, groups and other actors within each of these sectors, have several crime prevention and crime control initiatives.
“They deploy resources, directly and indirectly, to national security initiatives. Three broad levels of analysis are taken for the purpose of national security strategic partnership approach, in what I label as public sector security strategic partner, private sector security strategic partner and civil society security strategic partner.
“Essentially, successive governments have bequeathed to the legal system, from time to time, a plethora of laws, including criminal laws, administration of criminal justice laws, custodial and remedial laws, etc.
“Sometimes, I hear people say, ‘there are no laws in Nigeria’. I beg to disagree. Enactment of laws is one area in which we need to credit successive governments in any assessment of government efforts at guaranteeing national security, crime prevention and crime control.
“It is difficult for me to give the same credence on the issues of interpretation and enforcement of the laws,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, Prof. Lawrence Ezimonye, described the topic as apt, considering the current security challenges besetting the country.
Ezimonye urged Nigerians to take advantage of the lecture to contribute their parts to end security challenges in the country.