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Security: Stakeholders call for more attention to youths

Sanwo-Olu, Lekki
A file image of the #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, before the gunfire.

Stakeholders at the Internal Security and Conflict Resolution Engagement in Lagos state have resolved that more attention should be on the youth to ensure a secured environment.

In a communique read at the end of the engagement by the Director, Joint Services, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Peter Egbodo, on Tuesday, it said that the youth should also be engaged in policymaking.

“It is imperative to expose youths to counselling and the knowledge of God, for proper guidance.

“More attention should be paid to the youths as they also have ideas that could assist in formulating policies for the government.

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“It is also essential to create jobs in order to reduce social security challenges,´´” the communique said.

It said that there was a need for the reintroduction of value-driven programmes such as Boys Scout, Girls Guide in the schools to meaningfully engage the youth.

The communique called for adequate training and grooming of the wards by their parents.

According to the communique, the government’s interest in security is “self-interest´´, as socio-economic development can only be possible in a secured environment.

It said that notwithstanding the present challenges, the government should not take security issues, especially in Lagos State, for granted as it remained home to all Nigerians.

“Lagos deserves special status in Nigeria; security in Lagos State is a national issue because of its teeming population.

“Security challenges in the state include armed robbery, killings, cyber-crimes, vandalism, fraud, among others.

“While crime is a global challenge, society should be re-engineered to deter thuggery and adopt better-policing strategy and crowd control without the use of excessive force.

“It is needful to adequately equip the Fire Service as an emergency response apparatus.

“Government at all levels must strive to create a system that would discourage criminality rather than demonising dissent views,´´” it said.

The communique said that government must move from the phase of advocacy on security improvement to the phase of action and restructure the Police Force as a reflection of true federalism.

It said that charlatans among well-meaning youths must be identified to forestall their destructive activities, which if unchecked, could set the state back several years.

The communique said that security agencies should increase intelligence gatherings by working with neighborhood security apparatus.

The communique also said that the process of conflict resolution must be peaceful in the interest of all.

“Government is committed to the security and should demonstrate the same through the provision of better welfare packages, review of remunerations, Training, and well-equipped security personnel to a globally acceptable standard.

“Acquisition of adequate crowd control equipment and non-lethal weapons for management of civil protests and demonstration.

“Designation of special areas for protest, so as not to impede the rights of others,´´ the communique said.

The one-day engagement was organised by the Lagos State Government, in conjunction with the Ministries of Interior and Police Affairs.

It had in attendance members of the military, para-military, and other security apparatus, the Council of Obas in the state, members of the Organised Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations.

Others were representatives of Religious Bodies, members of the market men and women associations, and youth representatives.

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